Occupational Therapy

Octavia Hill contributed to the development of occupational therapy in England.

1852 – 1857
  • Aged 14, Octavia Hill ran a business for the ladies Co-operative Guild, employing Ragged School children making toy furniture. At weekends she took them to Hampsterad Heath to enjoy being outdoors. She enabled some girls to train in needlework, printing and teaching.
1864 – 1888
  • From Paradise Place to Red Cross Cottages, Hill provided tenants with rooms for community occupations, playgrounds for children and organised parties and outings.
1908 – 1913
  • Elizabeth Casson trained as a housing manager by Octavia Hill, becoming manager of Red Cross Hall – a centre providing recreational and educational activities.
  • Elizabeth Casson becomes a doctor of medicine with an interest in mental health and the “power of creative handiwork”
  • Elizabeth Casson opens first school of Occupational Therapy in England at Dorset House, Bristol