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The Guild of Help and the Edwardian New Philanthropy c. 1904-1914.

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Presentation on theme: "The Guild of Help and the Edwardian New Philanthropy c. 1904-1914."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Guild of Help and the Edwardian New Philanthropy c

2 National Council of Social Services Years since NCSS formed Emergence from the efforts of the Local Representation Committees of the Great War which brought charity and philanthropy together Guild of Help joined almost en masse with exception of Bolton and Plymouth, etc. Leading figures from the G o H

3 Documents Help Minute Book of Bradford G of Help G. R. Snowden, Report on the Guilds of Help in England (1910) Various aspects Case Books from Bradford (5,682 in Bradford) Diagram of Social Forces

4 The formation of the Bradford Guild of Help 1903/4 14 October meeting 1903 Mayor Davod Wade for ‘co-ordination of work amongst the poor’ based upon Elberfeld Bradford G of Help, September 1904 in presence of Bishop of Ripon and S. Rowntree Aims: Helpers, community, ‘Not alms but a Friend’ – Helpers with ‘personal; responsibility for the poor, keeping social casebooks and visiting the ‘dark corners’, reportong back to Districts Heads, Head Office etc.

5 Bradford G of Help continued - clearing House/ register to deal with overlapping and mendacity Partnership of private and public bodies These 3 constituted a scientific approach. WHY? -Boer War, Rowntree’s work on the poor, impending Royal Commission on the Poor Laws, and concern for failure to deal with poverty in Edwardian England - Elberfeld System and German connection - Julie Sutter, Britain’s Next Campaign (1903) - Apparent failure of old charity to deal poverty despite vats amounts being spent.

6 Why? Clear concern that with the failure of old charity that the state would need to get involved and the concern of those who supported the Guild of the need to temper this by working with the state.

7 Growth of Guild of Help movement Increase in autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies 7 Guilds in 1905 (Halifax, Bolton), 12 in 1906 (Manchester, Poole, Sheffield), 61 by 1910, 70 with 8,000 members by 1911, 83 September 1917, plus other similar groups such as the Hampstead Council and many Social Welfare Councils Journals, Help, Helper National conferences at Bradford in Bolton 1909, Sheffield 1910, Birmingham 1911, Croydon 1912, Halifax 1913 National Association of Guilds in 1911 with E. V. Birchall (links with Birchall etc and The Agenda Club which organised health weeks movements.

8 My Theme Response to the challenges of poverty in modern 20 th century society Intent on working with the state to deal with poverty and did much good work but in the end community work/ local initiative was not enough Failed to be the community conscience it sought to be. The co-ordination of the Great War through the LRCs led it to the inevitable move towards the more comprehensive NCofSS

9 Main areas to examine 1) Relations with Old Philanthropy 2)Gof Help, poverty, unemployment, health 3) Social composition of the G of Help 4)Community Consciousness 5) Conclusion

10 GoH and Old Philanthropy Bradford charities incapable of dealing with unemployment and poverty during the 1890s and Edwardian years Weakness of the Charity Organisation Society, , E. W. Wakefield survey Similar techniques used though (ie casebooks etc) but differences -attitude towards state involvement -differences in organisations -Simey’s suggestion re GoH more respect for the individual

11 1 GoH and the Old Philanthropy Attempts at partnership in Bradford, Reading, etc but the feeling by the CoS that is was ‘being fossilised’ CoS never liked the idea of state insurance and hostile towards DLG scheme tpo make voluntary bodies an ‘authorised sub-service’ of the state. The GoH did like this idea Voluntary Aid Councils – re keeping registers of the poor.

12 2. GoH, Poverty and Unemployment - Community structure to tackle poverty Labour exchanges, land colonies, workshops Snowden survey suggesting the difficulty of dealing with full blown unemployment, eg in Halifax Debate over the idea of a general fund and compromises Casebook and socialist concern over the intrusive nature of case work from inexperienced and inappropriate advisers

13 GoH – health and other issues -Well Baby kits -TB clinic in Bolton - alternative Borstal Scheme in Bolton -educational survey work for school feeding in Bradford almost as sub-contractor -links with Health visiting in Bradford

14 3.Social Composition M. Brasnett says ‘helpers are drawn from all classes’ and Michael J. Moore says much the same There is little evidence that it drew from the working class – Bradford 2 from w.class – G. T. Meggison and Harry Smith (ILP) from 450 helpers - Bolton – R. Tootill and Jos. Shufflebotham - Poole and Reading not so in their lists - ILP and E. R. Hartley attack upon ‘Gilded Help’ - Suggestion of w.c. influence in Farnworth

15 Social composition – who ran the Guilds? M. Classes Men often Heads of Districts Bradford Guild – 215 men, 227 women – of the women 112 were single ( the daughters of the middle classes) Reading – professional men Some suffrage supporters at Oldham

16 4. GoH and community conscience Bradford Guild: ‘The GoH is the practical expression of the civic consciousness and the embodiment of the new philanthropy. The old was clearly associated with charity in the narrow sense, and between those who gave and those who received was a great gulf fixed; the ‘lady bountiful’ attitude has received its death blow. The Guild worker does not go as visitant from another world but as a fellow creature to be helpful.’

17 Community Consciousness Mayor Civil duty/ betterment Substitute for municipal action Sub-contractual work Amateur versus professional Working with the B o Guardians, Health etc Clearing House ideas/ Registers Riddled with problems re churches etc Social forces chart indicating their priorities

18 Conclusion GoH emerged because of what it perceived to be the failure of Old Philanthropy It offered a local and community attempt to deal with poverty but in association with public bodies and the state It failed to achieve that in three-quarters of the country and within many areas where it just became another middle-class effort to alleviate the poor. Nevertheless, it did some good and more concern for the individual In the end its resources the resources of the locality were insufficient – and the state had to intervene. In the end local initiative was not enough’ Its future came with the Great War, the formation of Local Representation Committees and the NCof SS.


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