The Turner Home was built in 1884 to provide residential care for men whose disabilities required daily support. A registered charity, the initiative was undertaken by Anne Turner as a permanent memorial to her husband and son, both of whom had died a few years earlier. From then to the present day the Turner Home has maintained its ethos of care and commitment to the men for whom it is home.
In an age when the state made little, if any, social care provision it was to be the voluntary efforts of individuals and charitable groups that ensured the support for those who where “disadvantaged”. In the later years of Queen Victoria’s reign men like Dr Barnado salvaged lives in London’s East End, while others, less well known – such as the Turner family – applied their personal skills and resources to alleviate the suffering and misery of their fellow man. This brought hope to the lives of people in often desperate circumstances. As the “second city of the Empire”, Liverpool in the nineteenth century was a prosperous community, although it had more than its fair share of poverty. Many of the wealthy merchants, grown rich on the port’s success, endowed various institutions in the region, turning profits into practical help for poorer citizens. The Turner Home is just such an example of local enterprise, founded upon care and commitment.
The Turner family lived at Dingle Head, an area of the city close to the River Mersey bordering Toxteth Park, where the growing prosperity was seeing increasing land development in what were to become the suburbs. Charles Turner, originally from Yorkshire, established his merchant business in Liverpool and soon made a success of the venture. He was committed to charitable causes and local politics and was a member of parliament, as well as holding office as the first chairman of Liverpool’s port authority.
In 1875 Charles Turner died and within five years his only son also died. For Anne Turner, the bereaved wife and mother, this double tragedy caused her to seek a way of providing a memorial to her loved ones. Anne Turner commissioned a life-size marble sculpture of her late husband and son. They are seen inspecting cloth. The sculpture is located in the main entrance hall.
Alfred Waterhouse was renowned for his ability to transform the Victorian urban environment. Born in Liverpool in 1830, he was best known for his work on the Natural History Museum in London. In 1884 building work was completed on the romantic style of the Gothic Revival and “The Turner Memorial Home of Rest for Chronic Sufferers” opened its doors for the first residents. In accordance with the trust the Home is for men only and this continues to present day. Anne Turner endowed a generous trust fund and personally supervised the running of the Home until her death in 1905.
The Home is now a dual registered Nursing/Residential facility providing continuing care, Respite and Rehabilitation. The building itself is listed.In 1984 the centenary Appeal raised over a quarter of a million pounds to undertake vital work to the fabric of the building, as well as essential internal improvements to enhance the quality of life for residents.
THE ERIC FISCHER WING
In 1993 a further appeal was launched to raise funds towards the new extension, comprising 44 individual bedrooms with en-suite facilities.
THE IAN TOD WING
A rehabilitation unit, with lounge, and another six bedrooms, again with en-suite facilities, was completed during the year 2000. In total a number of 59 rooms.
The overall administration of the Turner Home charity is the responsibility of theTrustee Directors and the Management Committee.
The day to day running of the Home, under the Home Manager, is overseen by the Management Committee consisting of voluntary members, served by a professional Secretary and Treasurer. The Management Committee meets once a month and also nominates one of its members to visit the Home each month between meetings to liase with the Home Manager and to meet the residents and staff.
However, residents play a major role in daily affairs, the Residents’ Committee meeting regularly to discuss a variety of issues. This is chaired by a resident and provides a voice for all residents in the running of the home.
Whether meeting special dietary requirements or particular social needs, the professional nursing and care staff maintain an individual care approach. Each resident contributes to his care plan as he feels appropriate, and staff aim to support aspirations and needs within a framework of choice.
For all involved in the home’s day-to day affairs, the commitment for the care of residents remains paramount.