Posted: 26 August 2014

A hard day's work: When The Beatles met the children we helped

The Children’s Society has produced many supporter magazines over the years, so when it came to creating our new issue of Voice, we took the opportunity to delve into our archives for inspiration. The photo at the top of this story is from March 1964 and featured in our magazine Gateway. It captures a moment when The Beatles visited our care home in Roehampton.

Helping hands

According to the article, the children from Hambro House (which closed in 1975) were delighted to meet the Fab Four. Beatlemania was at its height and the band were in the middle of filming A Hard Day’s Night, their first movie.

But the Hambro House children were also excited about the Easter holidays, and John, Paul, George and Ringo joined in the fun, helping them make special mop-topped Easter eggs. Gateway described how the children loved getting ‘with it’ with The Beatles, and how this was ‘something many of the more fortunate children in this country would give their front teeth to do.’

Were you there on the day, or do you recognise anyone in the photograph? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Email us or call 0300 303 7000.

A look at what else was going on at The Children’s Society during the 1960s

It wasn’t just The Beatles taking an interest in the work of the charity during the 1960s.

The Children’s Society worked tirelessly throughout the 1960s to support the country’s most vulnerable children. But the decade saw the needs of these children – and therefore the focus of the charity – begin to change. There was a move away from adoption and fostering, and instead we began to work on helping young people solve their own problems. However, the charity’s innovative Nursery Nurse training scheme, which became the model for the Ministry of Education’s National Nursery Examination Board training scheme, continued to attract many applications and high standards were achieved by its students. In 1965, the scheme had a 94 per cent pass rate.

Throughout the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, we pioneered work with diabetic children. At the time, not much was known about the condition so The Children’s Society opened three homes where children could learn how to control diabetes with insulin and diet. By the late 1960s, the number of children entering children’s homes or being put up for adoption had started to fall. This was down to a growing acceptance of lone parenting, and contraception becoming more available. Instead, the charity started to focus on community care. In 1969 we opened our first day-care centre in south London, offering support for single-parent families and those affected by illness, stress or severe poverty.

The Children’s Society worked tirelessly throughout the 1960s to support the country’s most vulnerable children. But the decade saw the needs of these children – and therefore the focus of the charity – begin to change. There was a move away from adoption and fostering, and instead we began to work on helping young people solve their own problems. However, the charity’s innovative Nursery Nurse training scheme, which became the model for the Ministry of Education’s National Nursery Examination Board training scheme, continued to attract many applications and high standards were achieved by its students. In 1965, the scheme had a 94 per cent pass rate.

By Matt Summers-Sparks - Digital team