Learning Materials

On these pages you can find out what it was like to be REALLY poor in Victorian and Edwardian times. From the archives of The Children's Society we have found amazing photographs and documents about the lives of poor and destitute children.

You can discover how some fortunate children were rescued from a life on the streets and taken in by the Waifs and Strays' Society. They were given a chance of a family life, schooling and training for work.

Most of the photographs and extracts come from the magazine, Our Waifs and Strays, which was published by the Society once a month and sent to their supporters.

If you want to find out how the Waifs and Strays' Society started, go to A Brief History of the Waifs and Strays' Society.

waif girl

Rescued from Poverty

It was tough to be poor and destitute.

Find out what was life was like and how some lucky children were rescued.

girl in
							hat and coat

In the Children's Homes

The homes gave children good food, an education and some fun!

Explore the world of children in the homes.

girl in
							maid's uniform

Preparing for work

The homes provided special training so that the children could find jobs.

Discover the kinds of work boys and girls were prepared for.