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Street children: Dr Barnardo

Dr Barnardo meeting street children at Billingsgate Market in London

In the final story about Charlie we meet Jacko, Gyp and Maddy again (see Street life).

Charlie takes them to Covent Garden to scavenge on the rotting fruit - a health hazard.

While there they meet Dr Thomas Barnardo who tells the children they could enjoy a better life if they will come to his home for destitute children.

The street children are initially dismissive of the idea, but gradually the fear of ending up like 'Carrots' - an unfortunate child that Barnardo tells them about - and the lure of something decent to eat begins to work on them.

Dr Thomas Barnardo came to London from Ireland in 1866. He was intending to travel to China to be a missionary. However, after seeing the conditions in London he decided to stay and devoted his time to improving the lives of destitute children. In 1867 he set up his first 'Ragged School' where children would receive a decent meal for attending school. Then he founded the first of many homes where street children could sleep the night. Barnardo said that the story of John Somers - nicknamed 'Carrots' - was an important influence on him. The death of Carrots prompted Barnardo to decide that no destitute child would ever be turned away from one of his homes again.

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