As we have revealed before, Charles Dickens was our charity’s Chairman of Appeal back in 1856. Last night we were delighted to attend the private view of a new exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum dedicated to the storytellers work as a social campaigner.

Joining us was grant recipient Lisa (pictured with her family and FTCT’s Anna),who kindly provided some audio recording for the exhibition.

Social justice then and now

Dickens’ work undoubtedly spoke of the poverty he saw in areas around the UK. As well as documenting it in his timeless novels, journal articles and publications, he also took an active role in supporting many charities and organisations- including our own.

The exhibition explores an unknown and underrated body of work that talks about profound social injustice with energy and relevance both then and now.

I want to suppose a certain shadow, which may go into any place, by sunlight, moonlight, starlight, firelight, candlelight, and be in all homes, and all nooks and corners, and be supposed to be cognisant of everything, and go everywhere. 

Dickens in a letter to his friend John Forster, 1849

Dickens words brought to life

As Chairman for our charity Dickens gave a speech in 1857, encouraging his peers to donate money to fund our charity in its original form, a school called the ‘Warehousemen and Clerk’s School’ for the orphaned children of warehousemen and clerks in the textile and allied trades.

His speech can be heard as part of an audio accompaniment to the exhibition, read by a member of the Dicken’s family. Lisa’s audio recording can also be heard alongside his speech.


The Restless Shadow exhibition runs until 29 October 2017, with FTCT as one of the charity partners, alongside The Big Issue Foundation.

To visit this inspirational exhibition, please visit the Charles Dickens Museum website to book your tickets.

The Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust is delighted to continue to support children whose parents work in the many fashion and textile businesses throughout the UK, including small companies and high street fashion retailers.