Portrait of Dr Thomas Barnado

In the Victorian times, in East London, loads of people were homeless. Dr Banardo was born on 1845 in Dublin, Ireland. When he was a child, he was very selfish and only thought about what he could do for himself. He took food from others, he took anything that looked good from others. Imagine if he took away your favourite toy. It would be exactly like that.

Growing up

But, when he grew up, all that changed. It was the opposite, he only thought about others. He also went to London and trained as a doctor. He did want to go to China, but they were plenty of poor people in London. In the 1800s, a school was one (of the many) things you had to pay for. But, he set up a free school called the Ragged School. And the children were very noisy as well. At the end of another school day, he came across this boy called Jim Jarvis.

He had no home, mother, father or anywhere to spend the night at. Then Jim showed Thomas where he had to sleep the night at, and he discovered that they were loads of other boys that had to sleep there.

Then, he opened a home for homeless boys and it fitted 25 children. But the beds filled up very quickly and one night, a homeless boy knocked at the door. The beds were all filled up, so he got sent away.

The result?

But the next morning, 2 men were carrying a body from the same boy he saw that other night. Then, he put a sign outside saying “No Destitute Child Ever Refused Admission”. He opened 96 homes helping eight and a half thousand children. The work he does continues to this day.