NSPCC: The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
The NSPCC is a great UK charity. Sadly it seems that its work will never be complete. Cruelty to children is still a terrible day to day reality for all too many children around the world. Certainly in the UK some would say that this is partly because it is more widely reported these days. I am reminded of my late mother-in-law when I say this. As a young girl her Mother would mangle her long hair into the old washing machine's mangle or wringer in order to prevent her going out. These days we would rightly be horrified at such antics but in the 1920s such behaviour was often the norm and accepted.
Cruelty to children in the 21st Century though is often so much worse. Too many times the press have reported on children that have died terrible deaths at the hands of those supposed to be their loved ones and carers.
Charities such as the NSPCC add a valuable fighting force in the battle.
Child abuse is sadly not a modern day phenomenon.We tend to think of child abuse as recent. Even in the western world such maltreatment and abuse has been long standing. The NSPCC was formed in England, back in 1883. At that time poverty and neglect were rife. Some was due to ignorance but much of it was as it had become accepted or swept under the carpet.
As a notable citizen commented at the time, as there was already a society to prevent cruelty to animals, surely there should be one for children. In the late 19th century though, in Victorian England, people's private lives were just that. Interfering was frowned upon and so many despicable acts against children happened frequently.
Early history of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
It took a visit to New York in 1881, by Liverpool banker, Thomas Agnew, For things to change. He was so impressed by the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children that he created a similar charity when he returned to England in 1883. This new society was called, the Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Within a few short years the London Society for the prevention of cruelty to children was established. Further branches in London were established and by the late 1880s the society's name was changed to its present one. Early patrons of this charity were Lord Shaftesbury and Queen Victoria. Also in 1889 the first Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act became law.
The 21st Century has children and families facing a different set of problems.There is still childhood poverty, in the UK, but of a different kind. The family unit strives to survive these days and many families have adults with mental health or addiction problems. Some children have siblings from many different fathers. These are just a few examples and there is still a mountain for children's charities and services to climb.
Child-line was established a few years ago and now works alongside the NSPCC. Many children have benefited from the anonymity Child-line provides.
The NSPCC is always in need of funds. They do receive some government and business support, as well as grants. You can set up a small regular donation to the NSPCC and Gift Aid it to increase its value. Other than that the NSPCC relies on donations, bequests, fund raising and the like