Quarriers is a Scottish social care charity based in Quarrier's Village, Inverclyde. It provides care and support for people with a disability, children and families, young people, young homeless people, people with epilepsy and carers. In February 2008 Quarriers was the largest non-church social care charity in Scotland.
The charity was founded in the late 19th Century by William Quarrier, a shoe retailer from Glasgow. In the 1890s he built the Orphan Homes of Scotland in Bridge of Weir, which were home to up to 1500 children at a time.
Changes in UK childcare practice and legislation in the 1970s and 80s led to a modernisation process, through which the organisation developed the services it delivers today and became known as Quarriers.
Quarriers’ work covers the whole of Scotland and the organisation is also involved in several international projects.
The charity was founded in the late 19th Century by William Quarrier, a shoe retailer from Glasgow. Quarrier began looking after homeless children in the 1870s, opening a night refuge for homeless children in Renfrew Street, Glasgow in 1871.
He then expanded his operations, using charitable donations to buy a piece of land near Bridge of Weir, on which the Orphan Homes of Scotland were built. By the 1890s this included 34 cottages, a school, a church and a fire station – a complete working village that became known, and is still known, as Quarrier's Village.
More than 800 children at a time lived at Quarrier's Village during the 1890s and as the charity expanded, up to 1500 children were accommodated at a time. In total more than 30,000 children have been cared for at Quarrier's Village.
From 1870 to 1936, the Orphan Homes of Scotland participated in a relocation programme that sent more than 7,000 young people to new homes in Ontario, Canada where they were employed, in the main, as farm labourers.
Changes in UK childcare practice and legislation in the 1970s and 80s led to fewer children being looked after at the Orphan Homes of Scotland. The organisation was renamed Quarriers and began a modernisation process through which it developed the services it delivers today.
In February 2008 Quarriers was the largest non-church social care charity in Scotland, as measured by annual income.
The charity provides care and support services for:
- Adults and children with a disability – through respite care, supporting people to live independently, support for people with learning difficulties and work placements.
- Children and families – through its family centres that provide information and support, drop-in services, health promotion and nursery and childcare facilities.
- Young people – through its residential school in Ardrossan, Ayrshire and other projects to help children re-integrate into mainstream schools.
- Young homeless people – through supported accommodation and outreach services.
- People with epilepsy – through its own National Epilepsy Assessment Centre and Epilepsy Fieldwork service. In 2008 the National Epilepsy Assessment Centre was awarded the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Committed to Excellence award.
- Carers – through Quarriers Carers Centres that offer information and advice, emotional support, support groups and help with financial issues.
In 2004, Quarriers won both 'Fundraiser of the Year' and the Communications Award from the Institute of Fundraising Scotland.
- http://www.quarriers.org.uk/about/history/orphan.php Quarriers, “Orphan Homes of Scotland”, retrieved 10th September 2008
- http://www.quarriers.org.uk/about/history Quarriers, "History", retrieved 10th September 2008
- http://www.quarrierscanadianfamily.com/ Quarriers Canadian Family, retrieved 21st September 2008
- http://www.oscr.org.uk/NewsItem.aspx?ID=7953bc6e-5d25-4f39-8ed6-c8ef6baa6e21 Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, “Scotland’s largest charities named”, retrieved 10th September 2008
- http://www.paisleydailyexpress.co.uk/renfrewshire-news/local-news-in-renfrewshire/houston-bridge-of-weir-news/2008/09/09/quarriers-pick-up-european-award-87085-21704657/ Paisley Daily Express, "Quarriers pick up European award", retrieved 21st September 2008
- http://www.quarriers.org.uk/ourwork/russia.php Quarriers, "Taganka Children’s Fund", retrieved 11th September 2008
- http://www.quarriers.org.uk/ourwork/SAATHI.php Quarriers, "Saathi", retrieved 11th September 2008
- http://www.fundraising.co.uk/node/158943 UK Fundraising, "Quarriers wins two awards at Institute of Fundraising Scotland awards", retrieved 21st September 2008
- The Quarriers Story by Anna Magnusson.