We owe our core mission and ethos to our founder James Fegan. He dedicated his life to helping children in need and was a man of great faith.

Fegan’s work began in London in the late 19th century. James Fegan was deeply moved by the plight of destitute boys in the capital, many of whom slept rough on the streets. He taught in a “ragged school”, which gave elementary school classes for street boys in the evenings. Through that work, Fegan soon saw the desperate need for permanent shelter and schooling for these children.

In 1870, he founded a society and opened his first home for boys in Deptford two years later. This was the beginning of the Fegans organisation and the first of many children’s homes that have brought shelter, care and hope to children and young people. In total, Fegans’ homes provided care for over 7,500 children.

Today, Fegans believes that the best way to support children is within their families and communities. We no longer operate children’s homes but offer a range of support services to children and families.




Today, our vision remains to support families emotionally and practically through teams of workers based in our four geographical centres. We seek to enable children and empower parents by offering specialist services in the areas of family support, schools work, counselling, training and community activities. We currently operate in Lambeth, Crowborough, Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Ramsgate, Eastbourne, Heathfield, Lewes and Hastings. We are growing beyond the South East of England, enabling us to reach more children and families in need across the UK.

We hold extensive case files, photographs and other information about Fegans homes and those who stayed in them. Should you have any enquiries or requests to access further information please email info@fegans.org.uk

Since July 2021 when Fegans and Spurgeons united to form one charity, with a shared vision and mission, we have been keen to understand just how similar the two charities’ heritage actually is.

Did James Fegan and Charles Spurgeon ever actually meet?

With the help of keen historian and Fegans Old Boy, George Savage, we have identified lots of parallels..


To celebrate Fegans’ Heritage, we worked with Tunbridge Wells Museum and Library to host an exhibition ‘Seasons of Change’ in 2018, in Tunbridge Wells. The exhibition told the story of James and Mary Fegan, how they came to help vulnerable children, and how the charity has evolved over the years. The exhibition was a great success with over 28,000 people visiting between the months of February and June.

To find out more about the ‘Seasons of Change’ exhibition click here:

Fegans' Old Boys

Discover some of the stories of those who were helped by James Fegan over the last century...