Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire in 1838. She was a social reformer who was concerned about the welfare of the people in large cities. She herself grew up in poverty and had no formal schooling so she worked for the welfare of working people from the age of fourteen.

Since one of her concerns was the availability of open green spaces, Hill was one of the three founders of the National Trust to preserve natural landscapes for the public to enjoy. She fought against the spread of urbanisation on suburban woodlands. She was a founder member of the Charity Organisation Society (now the Charity Family Action) which organized charitable grants and pioneered a home-visiting service that formed the basis for modern social work. She was also a member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws in 1905.

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