History of the Guild
Part of the city since 1907
The Guild was established in 1907 in response to a letter in the Western Evening Herald from a woman in Oldham, Mary Higgs. She appealed in her letter for people to "help the needy by providing better housing, salvation from drink and true citizenship". This lead to a public meeting on 19 March 1907 to consider the need for an organisation to do just that and the Plymouth Civic Guild of Help was inaugurated on 23 September the same year.
We have had several names over the years, as we have developed a wide range of activities and services to support and work alongside local people. Many organisations in the city started at the Guild. Among them Age Concern, CAB, Victim Support and Community Transport. Many societies also were set up, including MS Society and Parkinsons Disease Society.
Click here to read a poem by Ryan Hooper an ex-Guild Employee
Celebrating 100 years
Guild staff and volunteers past and present, and partner organisations in the city, gathered to celebrate the Guild's 100th Anniversary at a reception hosted by the Lord Mayor in the Council House on the 13th November 2007.
Since its inception in 1907, the Lord Mayor has been the Guild President during their year in office. The Lord Mayor, welcomed everyone to the evening before outlining the role of the City Council in setting up the Guild and the close relationship between them over the years.
The Lady Mayoress brought her own unique contribution to the party as an accomplished singer. She entertained the guests with a number of songs and finished with the Barbara Streisand number, People Who Need People (sums up the Guild).
Among the speeches on the evening was one by Debra Lapthorne, Director of Public Health, who outlined the key role of the Guild in the city in the early part of the last century and currently. Read the speech by clicking here.
All the speeches on the evening were warmly received and the News Editor of the Herald newspaper, James Garnett, drew parallels with the development of the Herald and the Guild over the last 100 years and the role that the Herald’s predecessor had played with the City Council in 1907 in getting the Guild off the ground.
A good time was had by all and the evening could be summed up by a comment from a recent member of staff, “It was interesting to hear what we have achieved, I did not know all of that. It made me proud to be part of the Guild and re-envisions me for the future.”