20 DECEMBER 1940, Page 3

Social Centres for Evacuees

It is good to hear of a reception district in which the local authorities have taken energetic and enlightened measures to provide for the social well-being of mothers and children and other homeless people who have come to them from the bombed areas. Hertfordshire has set a good example in pro- viding social centres, with laundry services, bathing facilities and communal feeding. The county has 67 feeding-centres at which children and adults can get hot mid-day meals at a small cost. In one case the Town Hall is virtually a club for the use of evacuated adults who can find there congenial society and organise their own entertainments. But if such activity is possible in Hertfordshire why not in all other recep- tion areas? Many of the difficulties which have been experienced—leading often to the return of evacuated persons to the danger zones—arise from the fact that visitors and hosts are Cooped up together in small dwellings and that the former have no place for work or recreation outside. Communal mid- day meals and bathing and.laundry facilities go a long way to meet the needs. Add agreeable recreation-centres, and the problem is more than half solved. It is stated that the Ministry of Health is applying pressure to apathetic local authorities. It is time it did. The need has been obvious for fifteen months.