Friday, 17 March 2017

The charity and its Irish Roots

As it is St. Patrick’s Day today, it seemed only apt to look into our Irish heritage at the charity. We’ve seen a number of boys and girls pass through our different homes and services over the years who hail from the Emerald Isle. Our most famous Irish connection however is our founder himself, Leonard Kilbee Shaw

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Woman's Day

As today is International’s Women’s Day it seems only fitting to dedicate this week’s blog to all of the women who have worked for and cared for the children in our charity over the years. Some we have talked about before; Annie Shaw for example dedicated over 50 years of her life to the Manchester Refuges, being an active member of the committee and taking a particular interest in the Cheetham Hill Homes, which included the 6 Orphan Homes, Bethesda, Tetlow Grove and Rosen Hallas; Harriet Smethurst worked for the charity for 37 years as Matron of Rosen Hallas, travelling across to Canada every year with her party of girls and Miss Pickford ran Bethesda, caring for all the ‘delicate children’ that entered through its doors. 

Annie Shaw on left

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


The charity is very aware that in 3 years time we will be celebrating our 150th anniversary. It’s a huge milestone in the history of the Together Trust and gives us a chance to reflect back on the many different services and activities we’ve provided over the last century and a half.  

Our 150th isn’t the only anniversary we celebrate in 2020 however. It also notes 100 years since the charity moved its offices out of Manchester into the leafy suburbs of Cheadle, where we have remained ever since. It is important for this occasion not to be overshadowed and to recognise the important connection we have with Cheadle and its community. 

Cheadle Village, c. 1950s

Friday, 3 February 2017

Beyond the Home

Our case files that sit at Manchester Archives take up around 11.5 linear meters in space. Each case file, which exist from 1886, contains details of every single child that entered one of the Manchester Refuges’ Homes. These can vary in content for the genealogist searching for details on their ancestor’s past. Some contain only an application form. To many this is the most important find, as it details previous addresses, family members and circumstances leading up to admission. Other files can be bursting at the seams with documents pertaining to that individual’s life. 

Envelopes for case files

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Respected and Protected

Some of our archives are having another little journey south to be displayed as part of a new exhibition at the Central Family Court in London. The exhibition entitled 'Respected and Protected: The Rights of Children', focuses on these entitlements through the ages and how these have changed and adapted over time.

Respected and protected?

Friday, 13 January 2017

What happened to the twelve?

We’re catering to our American readers on the blog this week with another tale from Northfields, Massachusetts. The charity emigrated 12 boys to Dwight Lyman Moody’s Training Homes in 1883 with a view to their being prepared for ministerial or missionary work.

Leonard R. Shaw and his TWELVE

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Manchester, 1870

Somehow we find ourselves in 2017 and celebrating yet another birthday for the Together Trust. The 4th of January saw us reach the grand old age of 147. In three years time we’ll hit 150 years and plans are already afoot to honour this momentous occasion. So let’s go back to the year it all began and explore Manchester as it used to be.

PH.4.2.21 Boys on Step

Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Christmas Message

With only a few days left until Christmas Day we thought we’d finish off the year with a motto card from 1905. These were created yearly by the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuge and Homes in order to send to all of their children in Canada. They were also given to all the young people in the Manchester Homes on Christmas Day morning. 

motto card for 1905

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Younger children at the charity

In the early days of the charity’s formation, the committee helped mainly older boys. It is likely they were the most visible and more likely to be seen sleeping out on the city streets. Looking at the first admission book all boys admitted were aged between 10 and 16. At that time of life the charity deemed boys who had been brought up on the street not easy to manage and a decision was made to take them younger, to try and have a more positive influence. This resulted, in 1875, with the creation of the first Orphan Home. Originally on Johnson Street, these catered for younger children and were much smaller in size than the main Central Refuge on Francis Street. 

Orphan’s Homes, George Street, 1904

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

It's here! A 'Journey to Canada'

As promised this week heralds the grand unveiling of our much anticipated Heritage Lottery Funded film, ‘A Journey to Canada’. The production was first shown during our two performances of ‘Deep Pockets and Dirty Faces’ to a live audience. We are now able to put the film online, so that those who couldn’t make the performance are able to see the work created by our young people.
A Journey to Canada