This year’s report began with a foreword which considered the role of the Institute in the year 1935 : ‘ Since the foundation of the Florence Institute by Bernard Hall, in 1889, many changes have taken place in social surroundings, and the general outlook on the question of Social Service has developed accordingly. The Institute, which stands for promoting the welfare of poor and working boys, has seen many changes in the life of the people, but the need for the work of the Institute as a Club still continues. If we are to try and compare the old days with the present, it would seem that the time factor has only made the necessity for the Florence and all its activities more acute, particularly for boys between the critical period of life from school-leaving age to 21.
The institute has a history of quiet and sound help to the youth in the South end of Liverpool , and through them to the Community in general. In its early days the Club stood alone in the southern district of the City as a non-political, un-denominational centre where boys could gather and re-create themselves. Thousands of men in all stations of life and in all parts of the world look back to-day with the happiest memories on evenings spent and friendships made in the ‘Florrie’.
Before the war, when the Florence had barely come of age, the need for a youth movement organisation on a vaster scale presented itself, and in this way the Liverpool Union of Boys’ Clubs, now the Liverpool Federation of Boys’ Clubs, came into being. The Florence has always regarded itself as an essential and a happy part of a far greater thing, and in presenting our Annual Report for the year 1934/35 we ask our friends to look back on the work which has endured and progressed during the last 46 years, and we look forward with confidence to ever increasing friendships and support. Four years hence, when the Jubilee of the Club will be celebrated, we feel certain that the standard of our attainment will be one of which we may feel justly proud.’
‘The Youth of our Nation has been very much in the public eye during the last year, partly on account of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales Jubilee Appeal, and partly owing to the important and much-needed legislation affecting Juvenile Unemployment. It is recognised now, more than ever before, that the way in which the character of the youth is of to-day is moulded, will have an important influence on the future of our country. The success achieved by organisations dealing with young people is a matter of the utmost importance, and should be the concern of everyone. The inscription on the Memorial Plaque at the Club, placed there by the Founder, reads as follows:-‘In the hope that it might prove an acceptable place of recreation and instruction for the poor and working boys of the district.’
With this object in view it has been our constant aim to teach the young the right use of leisure, and how to become fit in mind, body and spirit. The past year has shown considerable progress in our activities, and an important development has been made in conjunction with the Education Authorities. During the day-time the Institute is now used as a Juvenile Instruction centre, the success of which is proved by the fact that in the near future the centre will be enlarged to double its present capacity. This work, in addition to the normal activities of the Club on each night of the week, indicates that the hope expressed by the Club’s Founder is being carried out in a practical way.’
THE FLORENCE INSTITUTE
Registered Office: The Florence Institute Trust Ltd, 377 Mill Street, Liverpool L8 4RF. Charity Registration No: 1109301. Company Registration No: 05330850 (registered in England and Wales).