The landmark building of the Guild of the Brave Poor Things opened in Bristol just over a century ago in 1913. It offered community to disabled people of all ages, as well as championing those who wanted to find work and offering some a holiday away from the smoky city in Somerset.
What would young people from Bristol today make of the Guild and its work? In 2016 we invited a group to learn about it and respond to the story through film-making, acting and poetry. You can see the results in their film here:
Our group found a lot to admire in the Guild’s work, capturing how unusual and ambitious it was for its time – creating a safe haven in an often unforgiving industrial city. They also highlighted what they found problematic – including the rejection of people with mental health problems – and weighed up the language used by the Guild which would be (at best) seen as patronising today. They nevertheless celebrate and bring to life a model that worked for more than sixty years.