Today Brunel, like many other organisations across the UK, will be celebrating the Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day. However, did you know that one of the co-founders of Save the Children, was Eglantyne Jebb?
Eglantyne is an alumna of Stockwell Teacher Training College, one of the British and Foreign School Society (BFSS) Teacher Training Colleges, and the archives of which are held in the University Archives.
Eglantyne was born in Ellesmere, Shropshire in 1876. She attended Stockwell Training College to train as an elementary school teacher in 1898-1899 and, after completing her training, secured a teaching position at St Peter’s Girls’ School in Marlborough, Wiltshire. However, after a year of teaching, she decided it was not the vocation for her.
Later, while looking after her sick mother, she got involved with the Charity Organisation Society and in 1913, she was asked to go to Macedonia on behalf of the Macedonian Relief Fund. She was so appalled at the plight of many children, whose parents had been killed, that she decided to spend the rest of her life fighting to release children from danger, disease and starvation.
In 1919, she founded the Save the Children Fund with her sister, Dorothy Buxton and later, in 1920, the Save the Children International Union. In 1923, she wrote The Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the League of Nations in 1927.
The Save the Children Fund is an international organisation that is still active today. Its annual fundraiser ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ encourages people to wear their best Christmas jumper for a minimum donation of £2. Launched in 2012, the fundraiser aims to help ‘make the best place on Earth for children’.
As this is such a recent tradition, sadly we have no images of past/current students in groovy Christmas jumpers – so if you are taking part today, please send a photo of yourself and/or with friends/colleagues to the University Archives via firstname.lastname@example.org.