Category Archives: News


The Early Pestalozzi Children Project Logo

So far we have uncovered about 1,100 images relating to the first 6-7 years of the Pestalozzi Children’s Village. 1 These form an important part of our personal stories and our community’s early heritage.

Now we have to discover who created the images and who currently owns the copyright.

  • For about two thirds of our images we hold no details.
  • In some cases, we have a name but the photographer is long-deceased and the current rights ownership presently remains a mystery.

To this end we are displaying low-resolution versions of photographs in the hope that they are recognised. Where we already do know a photographer’s name, it will be included.

We’re starting off with images short-listed for use in our planned book – the story of the early Pestalozzi children.

The initial display shows images of the first months of the British Pestalozzi community.

Click here to view our first images! 

  1. 1,100 sounds like a lot of photos – but we’re confident there are still many more to find.  If you know of any early Pestalozzi pics, please get in touch []

Greg Hopkins

Sadly, we have been advised of the death of Greg Hopkins, an active supporter of the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in the 1960s and of the Early Pestalozzi Children Project in the last ten years.

As a young volunteer Greg spent time at the Pestalozzi community in Sedlescombe, East Sussex and also helped arrange several weekend trips for the Pestalozzi children to London, under the auspices of the Muswell Hill Methodist Youth Hostel. These were exciting tours and included a variety of excursions and events – including meeting some celebrities.

Greg with four Tibetan boys during a annual Pestalozzi Open Day
(Photo: courtesy of Greg Hopkins)

When this project began in 2013, Greg was extremely encouraging and supportive. His enduring affection for us shone through. Significantly, he was personally responsible for obtaining agreement from BBC and ITV respectively to approve our access to a Panorama program (with Richard Dimbleby) and a Roving Report program (with Andrew Gardner) covering the Pestalozzi Children’s Village. Greg continued to provide us with further assistance and encouragement in the following years.

We remember Greg with immense affection and mourn his death. Our thoughts are with his wife, Lis and their family.

A special fund-raiser gets in touch!

The ladybird pin that supporters bought.

We have always known of the massive public support for Pestalozzi in the UK when it started up. This initially helped fund needy British children to attend the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Switzerland. It then helped to establish a similar international community in Sussex in 1959. To this end, British people bought many, many thousands of the charity’s ladybird pins.

Importantly, we also know that those supporters have not forgotten their enthusiasm for Pestalozzi. We continue to encounter people who instantly recognise the Village’s ladybird – 60 or more years after their involvement! It’s always exciting to hear the stories recalled by these wonderful people.

Here’s one story we have just received!
Sue Smith was tidying some drawers and came across her very special Pestalozzi ladybird pin – decorated with a gold leaf. This prompted her to search online for “Pestalozzi” last week.

When Sue discovered the Early Pestalozzi Children Project website, she read our article about the important effect of donating just one shilling. This moved her to let us know about her own connection to the Village.

Sue’s special ladybird pin – not the usual one!

As a young student she heard about the Pestalozzi Children’s Village. Their plans inspired her to support the charity. “I was very taken with the idea of raising money for the scheme by selling the ladybird pins!” Sue told us. She went on to say, “I sold the pins to fellow pupils at Chorley Grammar School in Lancashire. I was there from September 1956 to July 1963 . . . I remember explaining what I knew about the project to other pupils and some teachers and persuading them to buy the pins.”

So how come Sue has this unusual ladybird pin with a gold leaf?
The Pestalozzi Children’s Village Trust had encouraged supporters to sell the regular ladybird pins in their local communities to raise much-needed funds for the charity. If a supporter sold a large number of pins they would receive a special version of the emblem (backed with a gold leaf) in appreciation of their achievement. “I remember selling over 100 and still have the ladybird pin with the gold leaf which I received in recognition of my effforts!” Sue said.

Sue, proudly wearing her special ladybird pin.

But Sue’s involvement became more to her that just selling the pins: “I have much to thank the ladybird fundraising initiative for. It awoke in me an awareness of life in other countries, a lifelong interest in human rights and showed me that everybody can make a difference, however small.”

Sue has now generously gifted her special pin to the Early Pestalozzi Children Project’s archive. It will be carefully stored with all the other precious material that is being collected.

We offer Sue our double thanks: for donating the pin – but especially for her efforts in fund-raising that helped make such a difference in our lives.

Does anyone in your family remember supporting Pestalozzi in the late 1950s/early 1960s?