Medical Charities in Manchester

  • Reference
      GB 133 MMC/8
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 MMC H
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      233 items

Scope and Content

MMC/8 comprises documents from a variety of Manchester-based medical charities and welfare associations dating from the early-nineteenth century through to the late twentieth century. Most of the material is printed in nature, particularly annual reports.

Associations which campaigned on public heath issues only such as the Manchester and Salford Sanitary Association, and the Ladies Public Health Society are covered in MMC/13.

Administrative / Biographical History

Medical charities in Manchester provided a wide variety of services to the community and those represented here show the wide variety of institutions that supported the medical profession in Manchester over two hundred years. Many of these charities were founded in the mid-nineteenth century to address the problems arising from the rapid growth and industrialisation of the city, such as poor housing, prostitution and poverty. These charities often combined charitable aid with moral or religious purposes, in particular the institutions for former prostitutes. There were a large number of charities and institutions established to support people with various physical and mental disabilities. They provided a wide variety of services, including accommodation, medical care, advice and assistance, facilities, holidays, education and financial aid. Many of these institutions have changed dramatically over the years in response to changing social and medical attitudes to disability. Not only has terminology changed, with terms such as 'feeble-mindedness' and 'crippled' no longer being acceptable, but so have ideas and practices. This can be seen the in change in emphasis from separation to integration, and from permanent care to treatment and support. Some of these charities were branches of national societies, others were unique to Manchester. Even the branches faced issues which were particular to Manchester, and often acted fairly independently from their parent bodies.

Other charities in Manchester provided practical and financial support to other medical institutions and in particular to the voluntary hospitals. Some provided clothing and surgical equipment to hospitals. Others raised funds for the hospitals, such as the Hospital Saturday and Sunday Funds. The Hospital Saturday Fund later became part of a movement away from pure charity, towards the concept that the poor should be helped to support themselves, largely through the establishment of provident schemes. This movement began in the mid nineteenth century, but it was only in the 1870s that provident schemes made their mark on medical care, with the establishment of provident dispensaries. These were the forerunner of health insurance schemes. Health legislation had major effects on the remits and practices of many of these medical charities. The National Insurance Act of 1911 made provident dispensaries largely redundant, and the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948 had ramifications for many charities, even those not directly providing medical care. A number of charities were disbanded in 1948, but many changed their roles to fill in what gaps were left in NHS provision.


MMC/8 is composed of the following sections:

  • MMC/8/1 Manchester Hospital Work Society
  • MMC/8/2 Invalid Children's Aid Association, Manchester Salford and District
  • MMC/8/3 Surgical Aid Society
  • MMC/8/4 Manchester and Salford Medical Charities
  • MMC/8/5 Manchester Home and Day Nursery
  • MMC/8/6 Manchester and Salford District Provident Society
  • MMC/8/7 Manchester and Salford Provident Dispensaries Association
  • MMC/8/8 Hospital Provident Association Limited
  • MMC/8/9 Manchester and District Hospitals' Provident Society
  • MMC/8/10 Lancashire and Cheshire Society for the Permanent Care of the Feeble Minded
  • MMC/8/11 Hulme Healthy Homes Association
  • MMC/8/12 Manchester and Salford Sick Poor and Private Nursing Institution
  • MMC/8/13 Manchester Medical Mission and Dispensary (Red Bank Working Men's Christian Institute)
  • MMC/8/14 Manchester Society for the Prevention of Degradation of Women and Children
  • MMC/8/15 Manchester and Salford Asylum for Female Penitents
  • MMC/8/16 St Mary's Home of Refuge and Penitentiary
  • MMC/8/17 Family Service Unit (Manchester, Salford and Oldham)
  • MMC/8/18 Humane Society for the Hundred of Salford
  • MMC/8/19 Manchester and Salford Blind Aid Society
  • MMC/8/20 National Council for Combating Venereal Diseases, Manchester Branch
  • MMC/8/21 Manchester Adult Deaf and Dumb Institute
  • MMC/8/22 Manchester and Salford Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Association
  • MMC/8/23 Cripples' Help Society
  • MMC/8/24 Lancashire Mutual Aid Convalescent Home and Home Teaching Society for the Blind
  • MMC/8/25 Manchester and Salford Hospital Saturday and Sunday Fund
  • MMC/8/26 Manchester and Salford Hospital Saturday and Convalescent Homes Fund Incorporated
  • MMC/8/27 South East Lancashire Association for Mental Welfare
  • MMC/8/28 City League of Help
  • MMC/8/29 Family Welfare Service
  • MMC/8/30 British Red Cross Society
  • MMC/8/31 Sharp Street Ragged School