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Wednesday 10 June 2015

This blog was written by Farhaan, one of our Heritage Volunteers

The project is in full flow now, as sessions have shifted to a more researched based approach rather than the taught ones of previous weeks. Enthusiasm for the project amongst the humble volunteers remains high, and I for one am optimistic for the project, and what we will achieve in the coming weeks.

This week, we wasted no time in getting stuck in with the research. Looking into the works of the Charity Organisation Society (COS), a London based charity organisation, we deciphered the criticisms and responses of the organisation by looking into newspaper articles at that time. This was done for both the COS and the Nottingham based 'Society for Organising Charity.

What we found out was the organisation spent a lot of time publishing articles, mostly by Richard Simon, defending the organisation. Simon claimed to have stopped many 'underserving' poor from getting charity.

Nottinghamshire Guardian article 24 April 1876
Nottinghamshire Guardian article 24 April 1876

This led to finding out what was meant by 'undeserving' and 'deserving' poor. We found out that in the 10 months up to 31 December 1876 the London COS investigated no fewer than 655 applications for help. Just under a third of these, 204, weren’t helped, either because the applicant didn’t appear or because it was decided that they were 'not suitable', 'not needing' or 'not deserving assistance'.

Read more about the casework of the COS and what was considered 'deserving' and 'undeserving'.


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