The Sick-Room Helps Society was founded by Alice Model in London in 1895. This report, for 1900-1901, shows the organization that had not yet grown to its eventual size. It is scanned in full below. 813 expecting mothers were helped and there is an interesting list of donors. I have a later report which I will write about… later.
Alice Model, who was born in 1856, was a leader of the Union of Jewish Women. She lived in Hampstead and devoted herself to women’s welfare activities. In 1895 she founded the Sick Room Helps Society, which evolved into the Jewish Maternity Hospital in Underwood Street in 1911. The organisation aimed to help sick, poor and confined women within their homes in the East End of London. It was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, providing home helps and maternity nurses – one of the most important contributions to maternal healthcare, well pre-dating the National Health Service.
There has been discussion as to whether poor Jewish mothers living in the East End of London were more healthy than other groups because of their Jewish way of life or whether the support from Jewish charities, especially the Sick Room Helps Society played an important role.