Society for the Assistance of Ladies in Reduced Circumstances

 (Registered as a Charity in England & Wales No. 205798)

Since 1886 we have provided

Grants for women in need

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A brief history Work of this Society Miss Smallwood The team

A brief history...


Miss Edith Smallwood was born in 1859, the daughter of a Yorkshire banker. Her father died when she was only 16, leaving her an income for life. Miss Smallwood saw it as her Christian duty to help those less fortunate than herself, and she began collecting small sums of money to benefit women who, through ill-health or old age, were unable to support themselves. She also encouraged these women to execute for sale items of needlework such as embroidery, knitting, tapestry, etc. From these small beginnings the Society for the Assistance of Ladies in Reduced Circumstances has grown. Further information about the early work of the Society can be seen in an extract from its Annual Report for 1913.               


When she founded the Society in 1886, Miss Smallwood was living in Malvern, Worcestershire where she remained until 1909 when she moved to London. The air raids during the Great War forced her to return to Malvern in 1916.  She returned permanently to London in 1924 where she died following a long illness on 20th May 1928, aged 69 years. The Society still operates from the premises it acquired in Malvern in 1916. There is a separate page that gives more details about Miss Smallwood's life.


The Society was registered as a charity on 2nd November 1917. It is governed by a Board of four unpaid Trustees, and day to day business is managed by the General Secretary supported by a staff of three.


In 1952 Her Majesty The Queen honoured the Society by becoming its Patron.