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Western Australia - Organisation

NCH Action for Children (1869 - )

United Kingdom

Care Provider, Methodist, Records Holder and Sending Agency
Alternative Names
  • National Children's Home (also known as)

NCH Action for Children was established as a charity in 1869 by Thomas Bowman Stephenson to stop children having to go into workhouses. In 1908 the organisation became known as the National Children's Home and in 1937, 1939 and 1950 it was involved in child migration to Australia. Since 2008 the organisation has been known as Action for Children.


NCH Action for Children was one of the organisations that sent child migrants to Australia. In 1998 they gave evidence to the British parliament's Inquriy into the Welfare of Former British Child Migrants.

The organisation was founded 1869 as 'The Children's Home' by Thomas Bowman Stephenson, a Methodist minister in London. It grew quite quickly and by 1908 was known as the National Children's Home and Orphanage, then the National Children's Home, then as NCH.

Some children were sent to Australia via the Fairbridge scheme between 1937 and 1939. After World War II, another 90 children were sent (all but 12 on one boat in 1950 and all to Methodist Children's Homes, apart from 15 children who went to Barnardos). The nine children who came to the Methodist Children's Home in Western Australia probably all came from the National Children's Home.

NCH Action for Children was known in 2014 as 'Action for Children'. Their website holds many photographs of children and Homes.

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations

  • Methodist Children's Home (1922 - 1959)

    NCH Action for Children is the organisation that inherited the records about British child migrants who were sent to the Methodist Children's Home in the 1950s.


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Our history [National Children's Homes], Action for Children, 2011,; NCH (National Children's Homes) (UK), 'Submission No. 98 Inquiry into Child Migration: Submissions', in Inquiry into child migration, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, 2001,; NCH Action for Children, 'Memorandum by NCH Action for Children', in Minutes of Evidence Taken Before the Health Committee on 11 June 1998, Parliament of the United Kingdom, 11 June 1998,

Prepared by: Debra Rosser