Cambridge House (organisation)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the mansion in central London, England, see Cambridge House. For the grammar school in Northern Ireland, see Cambridge House Grammar School.
Cambridge House logo

Cambridge House is a voluntary organisation in Southwark, London.[1]

The charity’s mission is to tackle the injustice of poverty, providing specialist services supporting individuals with multiple and complex needs. Cambridge House offers a variety of direct and indirect services to residents of Southwark and the wider London area. Direct services include: specialist legal and advocacy services, youth-led campaigning and awareness projects to end street violence & intensive intervention projects supporting severely disadvantaged young people, and disability & equalities learning programmes. Cambridge House's indirect services promote social innovation and systemic change through co-produced research, knowledge exchange, and by supporting other charities and civil society organisations by providing work and service spaces. [2]

Cambridge House is a founder member of Locality and International Federation of Settlements, and part of an national and international networks of building-based and community-asset owned practitioners tackling poverty. The charity particularly focuses on tackling multiple deprivation, working to break cycles of disadvantage and crisis by providing a portfolio of specialist services which tackle the network of risk factors which maintain poverty and social marginalisation.

Operating from a refurbished Grade II listed building in Walworth, the charity supports children and adults, families and communities and houses a number of other charities and community groups. In the financial year 2013-14 the charity supported 79,000 people. [1]


Cambridge House began life in 1889 as part of the Settlement Movement.[3] Founded by graduates and undergraduates from Trinity College Cambridge and Magdalene College Cambridge, it was set up to tackle poverty and deprivation in the poorest parts of South London. By 1897 Cambridge University as a whole was involved.[4]

University graduates and undergraduates lived at Cambridge House and performed voluntary work for the local Southwark community. The residents were involved with the direct relief of poverty; "the provision of country holidays for city children; the organisation of boys clubs; educational and recreational activities; a free legal service; involvement in a range of public bodies."[5] In 1900 a women's settlement called Talbot was set up nearby, focusing on helping women and children. The two settlements worked side by side until 1972, when they joined to form Cambridge House and Talbot.[4]

In 1894 Cambridge House and Talbot established the UK’s first free legal advice service (now called the Law Centre). In the early 20th century they set up the UK’s first Labour Exchange in response to mass unemployment and by the 1930s were providing skills workshops for the unemployed. In 1963 they set up the first Adult Literacy Scheme, which led to the Right to Read Campaign for adults.[6]

Services provided[edit]

Cambridge House provides the following services:[1]


  1. ^ a b c Charity Commission. "Cambridge House Annual Report & Accounts 2013-14" (PDF). Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Cambridge House website. "Our Work and Impact". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Cambridge House website. "About Us". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Baker, Leila; Romayne Hutchison; Ben Carris (June 2009). "From Settlement to Community Anchor: The Enduring Value of Cambridge House" (PDF). IVAR - Institute for Voluntary Action Research. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Rochester, Colin (1989). Cambridge House: The first hundred years 1889-1989. Forward by John Posford. London, England: Cambridge House and Talbot. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Cambridge House website. "About Us: Timeline". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Law Centres Network. "About Cambridge House Law Centre". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  8. ^ One Big Community. "Cambridge House powers youth group". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Hire Space. "Cambridge House venue page". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 

External links[edit]