Nugent: 140 years of care

By Normandie Wragg

‘The Church’s desire is that the poor should rise above poverty and wretchedness, and should better their condition in life, and for this, it strives.’ Pope Leo XIII 1880
‘To feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless and to suffer little children to come unto Jesus, are precepts binding upon all men. God, who one day will judge us all, has said that what we do for the least one of these little ones for His sake is done unto Him.’ Father James Nugent 1880.

This year Nugent celebrates 140 years since our founder, Father James Nugent, set up the Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society, a charitable organisation that campaigned for child welfare, relief from poverty and social reform.
Father, and later, Monsignor Nugent, was a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. He was a passionate social reformer, appalled by the state of the homeless living in the squalor of Victorian England; he dedicated his life to the education and rescue of destitute children and adults.
Nugent continues his work to this day, offering support and care for the most vulnerable and at-risk children, young people and adults in our community:
• Nugent’s homes provide secure, caring and supported living environments
• Nugent’s school provides adaptable education and care for children and young children with complex needs
• Nugent’s Community Services are at the forefront of personalised, outcome-focused support for individuals in need, community groups, deaf people, people who are hard of hearing and people who have learning disabilities
• Nugent’s Epsom Street Community Centre is committed to bringing about change through education, raising aspirations, raising hope and bringing about community unification
• Nugent’s New Beginnings programmes provide help to individuals who are homeless or at risk
• Nugent is part of the Community Sponsorship of Refugees programme, with over 100 volunteers from our parishes supporting families to resettle in the area.
Nugent CEO Normandie Wragg says, ‘It is with great humbleness that I look back at our founder’s incredible work helping those in need, and I am proud to be in the company of Nugent CEOs past and present; following in the footsteps of my nine predecessors is an honour, as it is to take the legacy of Father Nugent into our 140th year.
‘As we look at our history I am mindful that life is still difficult for many in our region with more than two in three children living in poverty in parts of Merseyside; in Toxteth for example, 69% of children are living in poverty and 37% of Liverpool City Region neighbourhoods fall in the top 10% of the most employment deprived neighbourhoods nationally.
‘I am inspired by our founder to aspire for Nugent to continue to be leaders in the sector and to be experts in the delivery of profound and life-changing care, support and education to those who come to us for help. We strive to play a key role in development and implementation of partnerships that aim to eradicate poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of those in our communities.’
Nugent relies on the support and generosity of a growing community of donors and supporters, enabling us to help and support individuals in crisis or simply looking for a home and stability, such as:
• Oliver, who left Northern Ireland at short notice with his mum due to fears for their safety. They arrived in Liverpool with only the clothes they were wearing. Nugent was on-hand to support Oliver with his autism and to help his mum apply for the right benefits. Nugent housed Oliver and his mum for eight weeks and, once settled, helped Oliver to apply to study Physics at university.
• Jack, a single dad with an eight-year-old daughter visited our community base and asked if he could use our washing machine. Due to financial difficulties, Jack did not have a washing machine of his own and was struggling to keep his daughter in clean clothes. We discovered that Jack was struggling to cook hot meals due his cooker always breaking down. We were able to supply Jack with a new washing machine and cooker.
• Molly fled her home with her children due to domestic violence. The local authority were quick to rehome Molly but she and her children found themselves without beds. We were able to provide new beds and duvets for all the family.
Please help us to continue Father Nugent’s legacy and create positive futures for those in need by donating, supporting, volunteering or advocating for us; visit our website at and follow us on social media, searching @wearenugent to find out more.
We have exciting plans for our 140th anniversary year, to celebrate our legacy and invigorate our future, and we want to thank all those who have been part of our family and look forward to welcoming new supporters.