Famous Brit of the Week #54 - Thomas Barnardo

July 2, 2019

Today's Famous Brits Assembly was about Thomas Barnardo. Barnardo (4 July 1845 – 19 September 1905) was an Irish philanthropist and founder and director of homes for poor children. From the foundation of the first Barnardo's home in 1867 to the date of Barnardo's death, nearly 60,000 children had been taken in.Although Barnardo never finished his studies at the London Hospital, he used the title of ‘doctor’ and later secured a licentiate. In the 1860s, Barnardo opened a school in the East End of London to care for and educate children of the area left orphaned and destitute by a recent cholera outbreak. In 1870 he founded a boys' orphanage at 18 Stepney Causeway and later opened a girls' home. By the time of his death in 1905, Barnardo's institutions cared for over 8,500 children in 96 locations.Barnardo's work was carried on by his many supporters under the name Dr Barnardo's Homes. Following societal changes in the mid-20th century, the charity changed its focus from the direct care of children to fostering and adoption, renaming itself Dr Barnardo's. Following the closure of its last traditional orphanage in 1989, it took the still simpler name of Barnardo's. The official mascot of Barnardo's is a bear called Barney. H.M. Queen Elizabeth II is the current patron of Barnardo's. Its chief executive is Javed Khan.

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