leslie sewell, girls' work and mixed youth work

E. Lesley Sewell (1901-1975) had won a mathematics scholarship to Newnham College, Cambridge (graduating in 1923) - but came to see her future in social work. She became Bursar and a Tutor at Time and Talents from 1925, and a Warden from the early 1930s. Marjorie Daunt has described her as 'one of the great Settlement Wardens'.

She had more than her fair share of qualities which seem too good to be true, but they WERE true. Combined with a first class brain, she had great integrity and vision, a lovely sense of humour and fun and enjoyment of life. Modest withal, and transcending all, was her Christian faith. Her influence for good was tremendous. (Daunt 1989: 18)

E. Lesley Sewell's experience of girls' and mixed work at Time and Talents was put to very good use. She went on to be General Secretary of the National Association of Mixed and Girls Clubs (which then became the National Association of Youth Clubs) from 1953 to 1966. She joined the organization at the start of 1940 as Deputy Organizing Secretary. Under Lesley Sewell's guidance the Association developed a number of significant programmes and initiatives including Endeavour Training and Phab (Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied) clubs and responded to changes in the wider youth work environment (especially in relation to the Albemarle Report). Perhaps the best known response was the growth of developmental and experimental project work - especially around detached youth work (see, especially, Mary Morse's [1965] The Unattached). Honoria Harford. a previous warden and colleague at Time and Talents had also, earlier, joined the National Association as organizing secretary.

References: Daunt, M. (1989) By Peaceful Means. The story of Time and Talents 1887-1987, London: Time and Talents Association. See, also, in the archives Leslie Sewell's booklet Looking at Youth Clubs.


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