As a philanthropist, Catherine Gurney (9 June 1848 – 11 August 1930) established the Police Seaside Home and the Provincial Police Orphanage in Hove, East Sussex in 1890, having worked with the Christian Police Association since 1883.
The orphanage outgrew the accommodation in Hove and moved to Redhill in Surrey in 1895 and became the Southern Provincial Police Orphanage. Catherine Gurney was awarded an OBE for her services shortly before she died.
Following major welfare reforms, a reduction in numbers needing the services of the orphanage led to its closure in 1947. It was replaced by the work of the Gurney Benevolent Fund (GBF). In 1948 the Gurney Fund (TGF) came into being providing financial support to the children of deceased or medically retired officers. In 2014, The GBF and TGF merged to form the incorporated grant-giving charity, The Gurney Fund.
Having changed names and geography several times over the years, the fundamental aim of supporting police children in their education and wellbeing has remained the same and in 2023, the new name of Police Children’s Fund encapsulates both the historical work of Catherine Gurney and the ongoing mission of the Fund today.
If you would like to find out any more information about Catherine Gurney, please see here