Leeds Children’s Charity has provided over 57,500 disadvantaged and socially excluded children with the opportunity to experience the release and respite of a holiday.
Even from its meagre beginnings in 1904, LCC (Formerly LCHCA) fought for the unspoken voice of children aged between 7 and 13 years old. The charity began when campaigners actively sought out children who were normally forgotten by society; those with desperately poor standards of living in the Leeds and Bradford area. For them, the charity provided a week of sea air, good food, sunshine and the hope that this would alleviate some of the pressures associated with extreme poverty.
The threats of war, revolution and political pressures have not deterred LCC in its endeavour to fulfil its promise to the children of Leeds. In fact, the centre at Silverdale, Lancashire, has only been forced to close twice on account of a fire in 1919 and the outbreak of foot and mouth in 2002. This extraordinary feat is testament to the dedication of the Charity’s volunteers, fundraisers and patrons.
Helen Currer Briggs, the Lady Mayoress of Leeds in 1904, lead the way in providing free holidays for young children whose family income was less than a single pound. Now it is the rite of every new Lady Mayoress to become the president of the Charity.
The continuous effort from the long line of presidents, patrons and volunteers has enabled LCC to continue to work in the local Leeds community for the improvement of young lives for over a century.
For a detailed historical account of the first 100 years of the charity, through the eyes of one of the children we helped please take a look at Frances McNeil’s fascinating and insightful book “Now I Am A Swimmer”