Coram, the UK’s oldest children’s charity, was established in 1739 as the Foundling Hospital – the first home for children whose mothers were unable to care for them. Its archive contains records of the thousands of children Coram has supported, stretching right back to the year of its creation.
Now fragile and deteriorating, National Lottery funding is helping Coram digitise and safeguard 112,000 archive images.
Volunteers are playing a key role in this work. Over 700 volunteers from around the world have been remotely transcribing the text in these images ready for online use.
The volunteers are safeguarding the archive and bringing its stories to life, enabling many more people to learn about the story of care in the UK.
Amy Cotterill, Programme Manager
Young people with experience of care are also volunteering. Drawing on their personal reflections, they are developing their skills to share the archive’s stories in creative and engaging ways – including through a podcast, Foundling Found.
Programme Manager Amy Cotterill said: “We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers, who have helped us do so much more, so much more quickly than we could have done otherwise. They are safeguarding the archive and bringing its stories to life, enabling many more people to learn about the story of care in the UK.”
By sharing stories of care, Coram hope to change people's perceptions about what growing up in care is like. See the video below to see how their volunteers are central to this: