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History of LDCSA

The beginnings of the charity stretches back to the reign of George IV. From its origins and thanks to a visit from Elizabeth Fry – the great prison reformer to her cousin in Liverpool, the charity known as ‘The Lancashire County Refuge for the destitute' was founded in 1823. Details on the residents are recorded in the 1841 Census!

There have been many changes since 1823 with the moving of the charity from Roscoe Street to its present site in Edge Lane. 

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Miss Sarah Adelaide Clarke

Adelaide House was named in memory of Miss Sarah Adelaide Clarke, a former prison warder from Walton Jail she served as Matron of Adelaide House for over 50 years.

The 'misdeeds and crimes' of many of the women and young girls would today be thought seemingly unbelievable;  such as being found on the streets for wearing no shoes and socks and so being deemed to have no parental care or control. Many were also committed to jail for looking as though they may be ‘intending’ to commit an offense; which may have been something as harmless as ‘larceny of an apple’ – stealing food!

As such, they were institutionalized at Adelaide House where the staff was required to instill 'wholesome discipline' and ''character training' as well as care and support. Many of the women and young girls were moved on into Service.

Adelaide first board of trustees -histor
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In 1920 the Church of England Temperance Society was called in to help clear and control spiralling debts and the charity was put into the control of the Board of Trustees. Following World War II, in 1948 it became an Approved Probation Hostel for girls thus the Home Office took over the responsibility for funding.  In the last twenty-five years there have been further changes, with an extension to the building to provide better-equipped facilities for the residents.  The hostel accommodates and works with adult women from the age of eighteen. It is now accountable to the Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) now part of the Ministry of Justice.

Today Adelaide House is an independent female approved premises, overseen by the Board of Trustees of the charity The Liverpool Church of England Council for Social Aid (Inc), known operationally as LDCSA. The house is funded under contract with the Ministry of Justice and the charity works closely with other independent approved premises providers through the National Approved Premises Association.


The charity continues to have a christian ethos, with its close connection to the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool. This includes the provision of a Chaplain at Adelaide House, who creates opportunities for residents to explore faith, build relationships and respond to requests to prayer.

“There have been many times in the past, either with finances, the building, the staff and Trustees, where prayer has been needed and has been answered."

- Charity Trustee

Recent History

Adelaide House remains one of only 6 female approved premises in England. Recent developments in the house include expanding the range of support agencies we work with, the introduction of a new Move-On project to support residents as they transition from Adelaide House into independent living, and a review of our current accommodation to assess how we can best improve and potentially expand our offer.


In addition to providing support and intervention for residents of the house, the charity also works on a number of smaller projects within Liverpool. This includes partnering with Liverpool Diocese and Cathedral to deliver the Annual Liverpool Prisons Week Lecture, and grant making to other local organisations who share our vision. The charity continues to explore ways of improving it's current projects, as well as identifying new activities that will continue the positive legacy of LDCSA's work.

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“Being a part of LDCSA is incredibly rewarding because it is about seeing the potential in people and enabling them to become their best selves.”

- Charity Trustee

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