Highfield Oval was once a children’s home, run by the National Children’s Home (NCH) charity.

Children were moved from the East End of London to the new leafy site in 1913. The Oval was home to over 200 children at a time. On the grounds were a school, orchard, chapel, workshops, a bakery, woodland and farmland. For many years Highfield Oval was practically a self-contained community. The young residents were trained in printing, baking, shoemaking, dressmaking, carpentry, engineering and farming. Highfield Oval was also the site of NCH’s printing school.


Oval Today
The caring tradition of the Oval continues in the work of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), a Christian youth organization that supports those in need in many parts of the world. The site provides housing for YWAM staff and trainees, training facilities and coordination for many local and international projects.
For example, in Jinja, Uganda, YWAM helps children who have lost their parents to AIDS to find new homes with local families.YWAM has also set up an orchard planting scheme to provide income for the whole community. Elsewhere, YWAM works with refugees, runs primary healthcare clinics, trains teachers, engages in sustainable job creation and much much more.


Click here to download a copy of the Children’s Heritage guide to Highfield Oval”.