During this year, Queen Victoria became the Society’s Patron.It was an almost exclusively female organisation, being run by and for women with the exception of male Treasurers, Trustees and some senior clergy who held ex officio positions.Further innovations followed in 1926 with the first GFS continental holiday party, which visited Brussels, and the Society’s first promotional film, In Friendship’s Name, which was shown around the country.The 1930s saw some modernisation of the Society with the appointment of Correspondents for Health, promotion of the study of Citizenship among Members and the setting up of a Central Council for Recreative Physical Training.She once wrote “If the power of rescue work will be so increased by organisation, why should no work be organised to save from falling?
The League of Skilled Housecraft, in conjunction with the Board of Education and London County Council, also introduced a Youth Wartime Section to provide housecraft training for 16-18-year-old girls.
We continue to support girls and young women today, adapting to the new challenges and opportunities presented by an ever-changing world.
‘The Girls Friendly Society’ was officially established in England on 1st January 1875 by Mary Elizabeth Townsend, an Irish clergyman’s daughter married to the wealthy Frederick Townsend.
Cut off from the support of friends and family, Mrs Townsend’s idea was for ‘Lady Associates’ to befriend and guide these girls, who would form the Society’s members.
Today, we would probably call these Associates ‘mentors’.