Our governors, friends and supporters

When Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital, he not only changed the face of child welfare, he also gave artists and writers an opportunity to get directly involved in social change.

Hogarth bust

Early supporter, the artist Hogarth 

Some of those artists and writers include the musical, artistic and literary giants George Frideric Handel, William Hogarth and Charles Dickens, who were all early supporters of Thomas Coram and the Foundling Hospital.

They lent the Hospital credibility in the early days and helped raise much needed funds for its work with children. They increased awareness of the plight of the foundlings and publicised the work of the Hospital so it could continue helping children long after their deaths.

Early supporters and our creative heritage

Handel portrait

Discover how Handel established music at the Foundling Hospital

The commitment of figures such as Handel, Hogarth and Dickens helped establish a creative tradition at the Foundling Hospital that is continued today in the work of our Creative Therapies service. The service, which is based at our charity campus in London and in schools and the community, helps children and young people who have experienced trauma and neglect understand and explain their feelings.

Some of them may have witnessed violence; some are victims of neglect; and some have physical or psychological conditions that could see them socially isolated. 

Carrying on the tradition today

Portrait of Charles Dickens

"Received a blank child": Charles Dickens and the Foundling Hospital

Follow the links on this page to find out more about our early supporters and the work of our inspiring Creative Therapies service including what types of music and art therapy we offer, who can benefit from the sessions and who can make a referral.

Ways you can get involved

Find out how you can follow in the footsteps of our early supporters and organise a musical, art or literary event to raise funds for children. 

Help change children's lives: fundraise for us



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