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Title: Henry Gardner's Trust for the Blind : formation, development and decline
Author: Hawkins, John Walter
ISNI:       0000 0004 2728 3901
Awarding Body: Kingston University
Current Institution: Kingston University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis primarily comprises a review and analysis of evidence relating to the formation and early development of Henry Gardner's Trust for the Blind. This analysis is set within the context of Victorian philanthropy in general and charities for the blind in particular. Among the topics investigated are the differences between 'endowed' and 'voluntary' charities, developing attitudes to the 'problem of the blind', the relative position of the blind compared with other classes of the 'disabled' and the gradually declining numbers of the blind. The personal motivations of those most closely involved with the formation and management of Gardner's Trust are examined, together with the objectives that could reasonably have been set for the charity and whether they were achieved. An estimate is made of the importance of the support afforded by the trust to the existing colleges for the blind at Norwood and Worcester and where the trust was less prepared to be supportive. The relationships between the trust and other organisations, such as the Charity Organisation Society, are also reviewed. The impact on the charity of external factors such as changes in legislation affecting the blind and the economic environment is evaluated, along with the related topic of the investment strategy adopted by the trustees. Within the disparate universe of charities for the blind, a brief history of the Phoenix Home for Blind Women, later the Cecilia Charity for the Blind, is provided as a comparative case study. The main findings are that, after a period of great success and influence, the importance of the charity declined as a result of social, political and economic events, especially increasing State intervention and the ravages of inflation. Successive trustees failed to recognise the need to supplement the original endowment and reappraise the trust's objectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Sociology