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The dawn of modern social action in Nottingham 1875 - 1901

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the 'Problem of the Poor?' volunteer heritage project explored the lives of people in need who lived in Victorian Nottingham, recorded through their encounters with the Nottingham Society for Organising Charity. What is now NCVS began life as the Nottingham Society for Organising Charity (NCOS) in 1875.

The project ran from April to October 2015 as part of our 140 year celebrations.

Throughout the process we asked:

Were the Victorian poor victims of circumstance, caught in a vicious cycle of suffering and dependency? Or were there stories of initiative, self-sacrifice and endeavour that deserved to be heard?

Why was the Nottingham Society for Organising Charity so determined to offer not a hand out, but a hand up? And how did this transition from charity to opportunity, empowering individuals to lift themselves out of poverty, really work?

Project Reports and Videos

In the project posts listed, the heritage volunteers share their experiences and discoveries. These accounts were originally published throughout the heritage project in 2015 to report on progress and learning.

A number of videos also showcase what was uncovered and what it meant to the volunteers taking part.