10 Facts About Toynbee Hall


Toynbee Hall is a charitable institution that works to address the causes and impacts of poverty in the East End of London and elsewhere.

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Toynbee Hall continues to strive to bridge the gap between people of all social and financial backgrounds, with a focus on working towards a future without poverty.

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Toynbee Hall's proposal was to have university students come as volunteers to share their knowledge: the students would be able to help the poor, and at the same time witness poverty at first hand, and potentially develop solutions for it.

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One of the best known settlement houses that was inspired after a visit to Toynbee Hall is Hull House in Chicago, founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in 1889.

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Over time Toynbee Hall implemented many different educational community programmes.

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Toynbee Hall began hosting Smoking Room Debates in which community members and invited speakers would come to debate issues of the day.

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Toynbee Hall rejected the concept of a community centre as a location for Christian proselytising—as seen in the efforts of the Salvation Army.

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Today, Toynbee Hall provides a range of programmes and activities, broadly broken down into: youth, the elderly, financial inclusion, debt, advice, free legal advice and community engagement.

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In 2006 Toynbee Hall launched Capitalise, a pan-London free debt advice service to support 20,000 people a year with their money worries.

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In 2007 the Toynbee Hall Studios opened in part of the building offering dance and media studios and a theatre.

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