News By Wire

West Midlands pupils crowned in homebuilder’s ‘Lost Children’ project

Three pupils at Percy Shurmer Academy in Birmingham have been named the winners of a postcard competition to celebrate the history behind the city’s Children’s Emigration Homes.

As part of an event in partnership with Birmingham Civic Society and Balsall Heath Local History Society, Barratt Homes invited the school close to its B5 Central development to design postcards as if they were among those emigrating to Canada in the 19th and 20th Century.

Percy Shurmer Academy’s Year 6 pupils took part in the competition to write a postcard to their parents after Barratt Homes connected the school with Balsall Heath Local History Society to run a workshop for the children.

The winners were confirmed as Sofia Saeed (11), Nabeela Abdirahman (11) and Lina Bakit (11), who each received an Amazon voucher as a prize, and the school is set to receive a £150 donation for new books from Barratt Homes.

Nasra Hussain, Assistant Head at Percy Shurmer Academy, said: “On behalf of the school, the children have loved learning about local history and the experiences of children who moved to Canada for a better life. They recognise what an inspiration John Middlemore was and are proud to be part of his legacy.”

Barratt Homes recently unveiled a plaque at B5 Central to celebrate the incredible work of The Middlemore Homes in Birmingham, which emigrated approximately 5,000 children, chiefly to Canada, between 1873 and 1954.

On the site of where the emigration homes once stood before it relocated to Selly Oak, the plaque was recently installed on the open space at Spooner Croft Linear Park, part of the Stratford House Road community.

Percy Shurmer Academy also took part in a competition to design the logo for the new open space created at the development, with a sign to be installed later in the year.

Dominic Harman, Managing Director at Barratt Homes Mercia, said: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Percy Shurmer Academy through the process of celebrating The Middlemore Homes and we’d like to thank all of the pupils for their time and effort.

“Choosing the winners was a difficult task, but the creative writing displayed by Sofia, Nabeela and Lina made them worthy winners.

“Helping to introduce school pupils to the history behind the locations in which they live is our responsibility of a housebuilder and we’d like to thank Birmingham Civic Society and Balsall Heath Local History Society for their support with the project.”

The recognition of John Middlemore, Founder of The Children’s Emigration Homes, will now be present for years to come at the B5 Central community as current and future residents get to know the story behind The Middlemore Homes in Birmingham.

Press release information


Image File:

B&DWM - SGB-33997 - Nabeela Abdirahman and Lina Bakit with their winning entries at Percy Shurmer Academy

Area / Region:

Notes to editors

1. For further information about Barratt Homes please contact Mark Sheppard on 0116 247 1777 or [email protected] 2. Barratt Homes is part of Barratt Developments PLC, a FTSE100 company 3. Barratt was awarded a maximum five star rating for the 13th consecutive year in the 2022 Home Builders Federation Customer Satisfaction Survey 4. Site managers working for Barratt Group won 98 awards for quality workmanship in the 2022 NHBC Pride in the Job Awards. Barratt has won more Pride in the Job awards than any other housebuilder for the last 18 years

Media contact

Media contact name:

Callum James

Media contact business / organisation:

Unsworth Sugden Group

Media contact telephone:


Media contact email:

All done!
Thank you for subscribing.

Email Subscription