ScotsCare: 400 Years In London

By Lindsey Last edited 88 months ago
ScotsCare: 400 Years In London

Scots following King James VI south when he become King James I England in 1603 didn't always receive the warmest welcome in London and those who fell on hard times were not entitled to parish poor relief.

In 1611, the Royal Scottish Corporation was established by wealthy London Scots who met to put money in the 'Scots Box'. The funds were distributed to impoverished Caledonian merchants and craftsmen in the capital.

ScotsCare is the modern name for the charity that is still supporting Scots in need in London today. The original 'Scots Box' chest still sits in their HQ in Old Street. The charity has modernised over the last decade, moving away from handouts to focusing on enabling people into work or education. They also foster community spirit amongst London Scots, with lunches and events and the fantastic sounding 'Blether Buddy' scheme, which pairs up people who might find it difficult to get out about with a pal to speak to regularly on the phone.

As the end of their anniversary year approaches, the charity marked 400 years of good work with a celebratory dinner at the House of Commons.

BBC Newsnight Scotland broadcast a report on Scotscare last night. Skip to 12 minutes in and learn about the sort of advice, help and practical support they offer first and second generation Scots. You'll love hearing 92-year-old Ann Duck talking about her youth in London, remembering going dancing in Fetter Lane where everybody went to meet a husband, usually a policeman.

Find out more at

Last Updated 16 December 2011