George Peabody was born in Massachusetts in 1795. A banker with a social conscience, he put the money he earned through his financial and business endeavours to good use in the USA as well as the UK, establishing educational funds, charitable institutions and centres of learning that exist to this day.
A social pioneer
Not long before he retired, George Peabody decided he wanted to present a gift to the poor of London. Considering suggestions from the likes of social reformer Lord Shaftesbury, he settled on the idea of funding the construction of low-cost dwellings for the working poor.
In 1862, the Peabody Donation Fund (later known as the Peabody Trust) was formed. The first estate in Spitalfields was a pioneering development. It featured separate laundry rooms and play areas for children, as well as shared toilets which were monitored for diseases.
The Peabody vision
To this day, Peabody's social vision is still at the forefront of everything we do. As well as having one of the largest social and economic regeneration programmes of any of the London housing associations, we're helping to fund our ambitious plans by building up to 1,000 beautiful homes every year.
We want as many people as possible to have:
- A good home… a place that is safe, warm, clean, light, well-maintained and evokes personal pride.
- A sense of purpose… this means regular endeavour – whether that is work, learning, caring for others, personal development or volunteering.
- A strong feeling of belonging… that grows from active involvement in the neighbourhood. A spirit of togetherness and friendliness develops alongside that.