Certainly the inmates of ‘The Nest,’ if any judgment may be formed from their personal appearance, afford a good argument to the advocates of vegetarianism.
It costs L13 a year to endow a bed in this Institution. Amongst others, I saw one which was labelled ‘The Band of Helpers’ Bed. This is maintained by girls who have passed through the Institution, and are now earning their livelihood in the world, as I thought, a touching and significant testimony. I should add that the children in this Home are educated under the direction of a certificated governess.
My visit to this Refuge made a deep impression on my mind. No person of sense and experience, remembering the nameless outrages to which many of these poor children have been exposed, could witness their present health and happiness without realizing the blessed nature of this work.
Colonel Lambert, the lady-Officer in charge of this Institution, informed me that it can accommodate sixty young women. At the time of my visit forty-seven pupils were being prepared for service in the Women’s Department of what is called ‘Salvation Army Warfare.’ These Cadets come from all sources and in various ways. Most of them have first been members of the Army and made application to be trained, feeling themselves attracted to this particular branch of its work.
The basis of their instruction is religious and theological. It includes the study of the Bible, of the doctrine and discipline of the Salvation Army and the rules and regulations governing the labours of its Social Officers. In addition, these Cadets attend practical classes where they learn needlework, the scientific cutting out of garments, knitting, laundry work, first medical aid, nursing, and so forth. The course at this Institution takes ten months to complete, after which those Cadets who have passed the examinations are appointed to various centres of the Army’s Social activities.
When these young women have passed out and enter on active Social work they are allowed their board and lodging and a small salary to pay for their clothing. This salary at the commencement of a worker’s career amounts to the magnificent sum of 4s. a week, if she ‘lives in’ (about the pay of a country kitchen maid); out of which she is expected to defray the cost of her uniform and other clothes, postage stamps, etc. Ultimately, after many years of service, it may rise to as much as 10s. in the case of senior Officers, or, if the Officer finds her own board and lodging, to a limit of L1 a week.
Of these ladies who are trained in the Home few leave the Army. Should they do so, however, I am informed that they can generally obtain from other Organizations double or treble the pay which the Army is able to afford.