Ref NoWBA/BT/6
TitleEmployee welfare
DescriptionCollection of papers related to the employee welfare function. Contains photographs, internal communications (newsletters, memos), management papers, press cuttings and ephemaral material from clubs, societies and company sports and social activities.
LevelFunction
Administrative HistoryFrom the early 1880’s Florence Boot instigated welfare initiatives for female staff. Female staff at the Island Street factories were given hot cocoa in the mornings when Florence discovered many were coming to work without having any breakfast.

In 1893, thirty to forty young women were employed at Island Street and it was here that Clara Heath, the Head of the General Office, advised Florence Boot of any staff problems.

The appointment of Eleanor Kelly in 1911, saw workers’ canteen renovated and opening of a sick room, which was attended by nurses and a part-time doctor. Although appointed for her professional ability her commitment to the cause of industrial welfare saw her enlist the services of two assistants, Agatha Harrison and a Miss Holme. Trained in social work and physical training respectively, Harrison and Holme, were joined shortly afterwards by a Miss Keer, previously of Robinsons. A ‘welfare’ department of sorts had now been formed. Harrison, Holme and Keer were responsible for their areas of expertise with Kelly presiding over welfare work as a whole.

By 1914, four of the sixty professional welfare workers in Britain were in Boots employ.

In 1966 Parliament was considering an Industrial Training Act, which would have 'important implications for company and college education and training'. Boots JDC was established in Feb 1966, with members from
Boots College, personnel, education and training, and the Local Education Authority. Boots provided and maintained the college building, whilst the LEA appointed the academic staff and provided equipment and materials.
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