Friday Photo: Carnegie Infant Welfare Institute
Today’s Friday photo is the Carnegie Infant Welfare Institute on Hunters Road, Hockley. The building was purpose built from 1922-23 as a mother and child’s welfare centre. It was set up by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust who provided a grant of £25.000 for the project, with ongoing running costs then being funded by the local authority. The handsome brick building was originally designed with features such as a multi-functional waiting hall, ante-natal and consulting rooms, baby ward and mother rooms set aside for breastfeeding. The institute was a real asset for Birmingham at the time and was the first of its kind to be set up, with other grants then going to areas including Shoreditch and Liverpool. The original Matron of the Birmingham institute was Elizabeth Exell who took her position from it’s opening in 1923. Elizabeth was well loved and respected by the Nursing industry and by her patience alike. She sadly passed away unexpectedly in 1933 and in remembrance a brass statuette of a child holding a flower was unveiled in the entrance hall of the institute. This was carved by the local sculpture William James Bloye of the Birmingham School of Art. During the war, the institute opened its doors as a nursery to allow women factory workers to leave their children whilst they worked in local factories to aid the war effort. Today the building is still occupied by the NHS.