Tackling multiple disadvantage: our impact

'They helped me keep my anger under control' - young person at our Essex drugs and alcohol services

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This was the first year of our new strategy, focusing on helping children facing a number of issues in their lives. We want young people to be free from risk, have the resilience to cope with the problems in their lives, and have access to the resources they need to thrive.

   Graphic with 11,031 children we helped written on    Graphic with policy has affected 554,791 children on it


Amanda was put into care at age 12 due to difficulties at home. This left her struggling to trust people and as a cry for help, she began to skip school.

She would often sleep on the streets, where she was directly at risk of child sexual exploitation. When she was 14, Amanda was referred to us. We supported her one-on-one to bring her home, rebuild her troubled relationship with her mum and engage with school again.

Amanda is now living happily back at home and hasn't been reported missing for more than six months.

No child should feel alone

'I am proud that over the past year we have supported so many young people to overcome challenges in their lives.

This vital support comes not only through our direct work, but also through our campaigning, where we can help improve the lives of young people we may never meet.'

- Matthew Reed, Chief Executive

Our impact is the sustainable changes that young people see as a result of our, and our partners' work. We focus on our understanding our contribution to achieving positive outcomes.

The needs of young people are often multiple, complex and unique and we recognise that achieving positive change is only possible in partnership with the young people themselves.

'The sexual abuse...when I talk about it, it feels like there's been a weight lifted off my shoulders' - Young person at our Checkpoint Torbay service

Of the children and young people we worked with last year:

76% said their lives improved after working with us

94% felt they could trust their worker

98% agreed that their worker listens to them

'They actually listened, there's nothing that someone needs more than someone who will actually listen to them.'

'Before I felt nervous, shy and anxious. Now, thanks to my volunteer I have a lot more confidence.'


Sexually assaulted when she was 15, afterwards Huda faced abuse at home which led to depression and two suicide attempts. Unable to return home, Huda found herself on the streets and sleeping under railway bridges.

It wasn't long before she fell victim to child criminal exploitation and trafficking, often known as 'county lines'. She was forced to pack and carry drugs and live in horrific conditions. Huda was eventually referred to us and we supported her to break free from the perpetrators and recover from her traumatic experiences.

'I can apply my trauma and experiences towards someone who thinks they're alone when they're not.'

Huda is now safe and hopes to use her experiences to help other people.

Our impact through the eyes of our project workers

Christine Bonney (listen to Christine's audio) is a project worker at our London Refugee and Migrant services:

'We know how huge the impact of our work can be, when young people tell us "The Children's Society is like my family.... I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for you and the support you've provided".

'When young people say things like that, it's huge.

'The advocacy and the case-work support that we've put in, for sometimes months or years, has resulted in huge success, normally related to legal status.

'That could be, for example, overturning a negative decision that the Home Office have made on their status in court.'

Read more practitioners' stories

Our supporters

How our incredible supporters helped us achieve our impact

  • They took 52,626 actions to support our campaigns last year
  • In total our incredible volunteers contributed 588,309 hours to our work
  • Meaning a total of 84,044 working days were volunteered
  • 37 dedicated campaign champions took action for young people across the country by visiting their MP, writing letters and attending local meetings to promote our campaigns.