Supporting Kids Company
Last week Sophie and Natalie visited one of the Kids Company centres. Here’s what happened.
We had the pleasure to be invited down to a Kids Company centre in London to see the fantastic work they do. After boycerecruitment raised £1,070 for Kids Company in 2014, as part of our “30 things to do when you’re 30” campaign, it was exciting to see how the money we raised was being put back into the community.
Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996. They provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable children and young people, helping over 36,000 children in London. They were originally a local charity and operate through nine centres and two therapy houses in London, Liverpool and Bristol. They also offer therapeutic and social work services to over 40 schools.
Their approach combines health, housing, emotional wellbeing, mental health, arts, sports, youth justice, education and employment. Of the children registered with Kids Company almost 85% would go without an evening meal if Kids Company was not a part of their lives, and shockingly almost 25% don’t have a bed to sleep in every night; we take these small privileges for granted.
We arrived at the centre to be met by Katherine Wood from their head office, she showed us around the staff area and explained how the team worked and how rewarding her job was, to be able to help so many young children. We were then shown around the centre by 3 young girls who took much enjoyment in explaining to us how the centre has helped them and the various fun activities they were able to participate in.
The centre provides a safe place for deprived children, where they can go after school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays during term time. We were shown around the library, sports halls, massage rooms, art classes, homework club and one to one contact rooms for children who just really need someone to talk to. The centre provides these children with an evening meal every night as well as a range of exciting activities such as horse riding, swimming and judo. They also offer weekends away to the beach or camping in a forest to give the children a break from their everyday lives.
It was great to actually see first hand, the great work Kids Company are doing and meeting the children that it benefits was a real eye opener, a great experience and has made us all the more enthusiastic to support them in 2015.