A new documentary, “No Place Like Home: The Story of the Foundling Hospital,” has been launched to shed light on the history of the Foundling Hospital, a historic institution with a profound impact on the lives of thousands.

This film is a pivotal component of Coram’s ‘Voices Through Time: The Story of Care’ program, made possible by the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The film unravels the extraordinary lives of the 27,000 children who found their upbringing within the Foundling Hospital’s nurturing walls, spanning the years between 1741 and 1954. “No Place Like Home” delves into their admissions, day-to-day experiences, educational journeys, and post-hospital lives. It brings to life the stories of Foundling pupils who, against all odds, carved out prosperous careers in music and art, ventured into battle, and even served as inspiration for the iconic character in Charles Dickens’ novel, “Oliver Twist.”

“No Place Like Home” also looks into the narratives of the desperate mothers who sought refuge and hope for their children within the Foundling Hospital’s embrace. It portrays the efforts of the philanthropist Thomas Coram, whose relentless 17-year campaign led to the founding of the hospital. Through a blend of interviews, contemporary imagery, and well-preserved archival records, the film takes viewers on a journey through the heritage of the Foundling Hospital and its lasting impact on the history of social care.

Today, the torchbearer of the Foundling Hospital’s legacy is Coram, the national children’s charity that continues to shape the destinies of children for the better.

As part of the ‘Voices Through Time’ program, special emphasis is placed on engaging care-experienced young individuals today. A group of these young people collaborated with the film’s creators at Northern Town, cultivating their own cinematic stories on the theme of ‘home.’

Dr. Carol Homden, CEO of Coram, shared her insights, stating:

The film brings to life the daily lives of children and their mothers and the agonising choices they faced in what was a very different time. It also shines a spotlight on the enduring issues and challenges of care that persist to this day.

Dr. Carol Homden, CEO of Coram

“No Place Like Home: The Story of the Foundling Hospital” not only serves as a tribute to the historical significance of the Foundling Hospital but also sheds light on the value of hospital records in family history research. These records provide a deeper understanding of the social and medical landscapes of the past. For those looking to uncover their family history, these records can be very handy, serving as birth and death records, patient admissions, treatments, and even personal anecdotes.

“No Place Like Home: The Story of the Foundling Hospital” is available for viewing on the Coram website and on YouTube. For more information and to watch the film today, visit here: https://coramstory.org.uk/no-place-like-home-the-story-of-the-foundling-hospital/

Image Source:

  • The Foundling Hospital: Picryl