St Veronica's Home for Catholic Babies, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire
The St Veronica's Home for Catholic Babies, on Barnsley Road, Sheffield, was formally opened on January 25th, 1923, by the Bishop of Leeds, Dr Cowgill. The Home was the result of efforts by the Sheffield branch of the Catholic Women's League to provided accommodation for unmarried mothers and their babies. The scheme had greatly benefited from the gift of a house for the purpose by Mr Philip Wade, together with a donation of £150 towards its other costs.
In 1936, it was reported St Veronica's was looking for new premises — it was 'a rambling house, and not fitted for the training of women in modern housewifery.' It was also noted that 'Most of the women leave babies in the home and take up domestic work the homes of sympathisers... Often the grandparents adopt the baby. In many cases couples are married and start life afresh home their own.'
In March, 1938, St Veronica's moved to large premises on Lydgate Lane, in the Crookes district of Sheffield. At the end of that year, there were 17 babies in the home.
St Veronica's often struggled financially. It appears to have closed in the early 1940s, perhaps following the opening in 1940 of the new premises in Leeds of the St Margaret's Home for mothers and babies.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Leeds Roman Catholic Diocesan Archives, Hinsley Hall, 62 Headingley Lane, Leeds LS6 2BX. Has Diocesan Rescue and Protection Society Annual Reports (1912 onwards).
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
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