The Devil's acre: children and families
The Revd Richard Malone recalled the help which families needed, The work which was started by the church in the mid nineteenth century expanded in later years.
‘We found in the parish an appalling amount of infant mortality; babies were left in the care of little children whilst their mothers went out to work. All kinds of accidents occurred: the poor infants were ill fed, neglected, left to fall about, and many of them died.'
With the aid of several ladies, notably Mrs Dunning, an Infant Nursery was opened and an average of 30 infants a day were carefully nursed and tended while their mothers went out to work. Once or twice we had a baby left on hand, and had to send the deserted one to the Union House’. (The Work House). 
Help for the girls
Members of the church congregation helped the local community. In this extract from the Revd Richard Malone’s Notes on the condition of St Matthew’s church and parish in the year 1851 he explains how local girls were helped.
‘We found one branch of our work very useful in several ways. A cooking class of the elder school girls was established under the direction of Lady Sabine [wife of General Sabine, President of the Royal Society). The girls were taken to market by the cook, purchased the goods, were taught how to cook for the sick and for the poor and were trained to calculate the cost of the materials. The food, when prepared, was given to the sick and convalescents.