Its aims were to unite pupils of the Foundling Hospital across its various sites and to ensure friends could keep in touch after admissions to the Foundling Hospital ended and the school building became a state-run comprehensive as it is today.
The Foundling Hospital is today known as Coram and has continued its lifelong support to former pupils where needed. The Old Coram Association has been an important surrogate family network for those who had grown up in its residential care in the 1930s and 40s.
Since its foundation, the Old Coram Association have met formally at least three times a year for key events: Coram Day and the Annual General Meeting, Charter Day, the Carol Service and Christmas Party as well as making occasional visits to the former Berkhamsted Foundling Hospital site, now known and run as Ashlyns School. These have been much enjoyed and well attended by OCA members and their families, bringing together all ages. The regular OCA newsletter Coram News has also kept friends in touch with each other over the years.
2022 marks the end of an era. After 75 years, the OCA has completed its service to former pupils. It held its final yearly Annual General Meeting hosted by Coram in June, and the final Charter Day lunch on 15 October marked the granting of the charity’s Royal Charter to Thomas Coram in 1739.
As you can imagine, there are many unique and fascinating stories to tell. We are so grateful to the Old Coram Association for their hard work, dedication and openness to share their stories, bringing together former pupils from across the generations and so generously sharing their experiences with us and young people in and leaving care today.
You can watch ‘A Moment in Time’ below, which includes archive photos and film from the Foundling Hospital. This video was created by former pupil and OCA member Tony Ponsford.
Particular thanks go to the OCA Committee. To Sue Anderson, its president and former governor; Lydia Carmichael, committee chair who was a founder member and has long edited the Coram News; John Caldicott, secretary and only the second former pupil to serve as a governor, now succeeded in that role by Ruth Miller. And to all the committee members past and present – thank you all.
Coram Group CEO, Carol Homden, says:
“During their time at school together, the children of the Foundling Hospital formed an extraordinary bond that the Old Coram Association has helped carry through their lives – sharing memories and always being there for each other. Joining and serving them for the last 15 years of this journey has been a privilege and I and Coram will always support their families in treasuring their long stories of resilience, hope and friendship.”
If you are a former Foundling Hospital pupil or family descendent and would like to access historical birth records, please contact us on 020 7520 0383 or at email@example.com to speak to an experienced social worker.
You can find out more about the Old Coram Association and the experiences of some of its members by visiting the links below.