The Frances Taylor Foundation offers a wide range of social care and support services, all aiming to work in person centred ways. We work in Liverpool and Merseyside, Brighton and Hove, and Greater London.
Some services were established many years ago, and were further developed when, in the 1980s and 1990s, across the UK, services for people with learning disabilities moved from large institutional settings to smaller scale, community based care and support. Further modernisation has continued apace. Some services have been developed much more recently, in new buildings and with new understandings of people’s preferences and aspirations about how they wish to lead their lives.
Our history can be traced much further back, as we are part of an organisation founded by Frances Taylor in 1872, as a Catholic religious order, the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. The Frances Taylor Foundation was created on 9 June 1994, as a way of recognising and consolidating all the changes which had taken place in the world of care and support, and in recognition that our work today is a natural and seamless continuation of the work undertaken by Frances Taylor 145 years ago.
Frances Taylor was born on 20th January 1832 in Stoke Rochford, in Lincolnshire. Her father was an Anglican clergyman and Frances was the youngest of ten children. Her happy country childhood came to an end in 1842 when her father died and the family had to move to London. The poverty and the squalor of nineteenth century London came as a shock to her and her compassion moved her to work with the poor.
In 1854 she went to the Crimea with Florence Nightingale's Lady Volunteer Nurses. The plight of the wounded soldiers, the faith of the young Irish men and the dedication of the Irish Sisters of Mercy inspired her to become a Catholic. On her return to London she continued to work with the poor and also turned to writing. Her desire to work for and with the poor, led her to found her own Congregation in 1872; together with three companions she began the work of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. They responded to the needs of the time working with the most vulnerable, especially women and children, and recognising and valuing the dignity and worth of each person. She died in Soho, London on 9 June 1900.
Today, the Congregation of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God carries out work begun by Frances Taylor in social, pastoral, health care, education and outreach work in the UK, Ireland, Kenya, the USA and Italy, and in Venezuela through Associate members.
The spirit, energy and commitment of Frances Taylor, and her dedication to improving the lives of those ignored or excluded from the mainstream, lives on in the work of the Frances Taylor Foundation as her “Charism” or gift, together with the realisation that we all have gifts which we may choose to use for the benefit of our fellow human beings, whether we hold any religious faith or none.