Ancestry UK

St Helen's Orphanage and Training Home for Girls, Ipswich, Suffolk

St Helen's Orphanage and Training Home for Girls was established in 1866. Its objects were twofold: first, 'to train girls for domestic service by teaching them washing, cooking, and every kind of household work', and second, to provide a home for orphan children.

The Training Home (sometimes referred to as the Servants' Training School) received girls from 13 to 18 years, with a payment (in 1890) of 4s. 6d. per week and a minimum stay of seven months. For the Orphanage, entrants had to be from 5 to 18 years of age, with an annual charge made of £11, or £10 if they had been recommended by a subscriber to the charity.

The establishment occupied premises at 113 St Helen's Street and also encompassed 1 Palmerston Road, with a total accommodation of 30 places. It was open both to members of the Church of England and Nonconformists, but the religious teaching was that of the Church of England.

It became the custom, on Wednesdays during the winter months, for the Training Home to provide dinners, consisting of a quarter of a pound of roast beef, a slice of suet pudding, two potatoes, and good gravy. Tickets for these were purchased for fivepence each by benevolent ladies, and then distributed by them amongst the deserving poor. Between the hours of twelve and one every Wednesday, those who had received tickets presented themselves at the back door of the Training Home to be served with their meal. To prevent the dinner being looked upon as a gift, each of the ticket-holder had to pay a penny for it.

The establishment is thought to have closed at around the time of the First World War. The St Helen's Street premises no longer exist.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.



  • None identified at present.