14 Jan 2014

Our news round-up captures stories from our campaigning, our project work, fundraising and more.

This issue features:

DO something

Our new fundraising initiative ‘DO something’ launches next month (February 2014) with the aim of inspiring as many people as possible to raise money for our work in as many different ways as they can think of.

We’ve created ‘The DO-ers guide to doing’, which is full of ideas to encourage people to organise their own fundraising event on our behalf. Whether you want to go-it- alone or enlist the help of your family, friends and community, suggestions in the guide include such diverse events as a car wash, dinner party, 70s-style disco, quiz and a karaoke evening.

A range of resources has been produced to accompany the guide and to help you tailor your event: from balloons and posters, to invites and sponsorship forms.

We’re doing all we can to help children living in poverty and at risk of serious harm.

What will you DO?

Please register for your free DO-ers guide or call our Supporter Care team on 0300 303 7000.

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Our annual Edward Rudolf Lecture

Photograph © The Children's Society

‘What’s theology got to do with children’s welfare?’ asked Canon Dr Angus Ritchie, Director of the Contextual Theology Centre, in our seventh annual Edward Rudolf Lecture held towards the end of last year. 

The speech drew on ‘The Heart of the Kingdom’, our essays on Christian theology and children living in poverty. Canon Ritchie discussed how theology is not only deeply relevant to how we treat children and young people, but how this should be exciting and accessible.
Both the text of the lecture and ‘The Heart of the Kingdom’ publication are available on our website

Historic changes for young carers

There are over 165,000 children in England caring for parents, siblings and family members. Our recent Hidden from View report revealed that many young carers don’t receive the support they need.
It also affects young carers’ educational performance and they achieve lower grades than their peers at GCSE.
Citing our influential report on the long-term impact caring responsibilities can have on young carers, the government announced significant changes to legislation to make sure that young carers do not fall through the gaps between children and adult services.

Without you it wouldn’t be Fair and Square

We’re delighted with the government’s decision to extend free school meals to all children aged 5–7 years old.

This is a significant step forward for our Fair and Square campaign and means that, from September 2014, 1.4 million more children will get a free school meal – including 200,000 children living in poverty.

Our grateful thanks goes to everyone who supported our Fair and Square campaign.

This important financial support of £400 per child will not only lift 25,000 children out of poverty but also means that children seeking asylum may now, for the first time, get a hot meal every day.

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Investing in volunteers

Photograph © The Children's Society

Volunteers have always been vital to our work and, for a long time, we’ve known that we have an inspirational and powerful volunteering programme.

Now the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has recognised this by awarding us the prestigious Investing in Volunteers accreditation last October. This highlights the quality of volunteer involvement across The Children’s Society and the impact it has on what we do.

The accreditation, which involved 195 face-to-face and telephone interviews with our volunteers across the country, tells us and all of the partners and communities we work with,  that we have a volunteering programme which meets the very highest standards. It highlights that our volunteers go through a robust recruitment procedure, have a full induction and training and are recognised for their incredible efforts.

Matthew Reed, our Chief Executive, said:

‘The accreditation confirms that our volunteers feel engaged with the charity, are proud to volunteer for us and feel a part  of our mission. We, in turn, are equally proud of them.’

So, a huge thank you to the tens of thousands of you who share your time, energy and skills to support our work. Without you, we quite simply couldn’t change the lives of the children, young people and families that we do.

Find out more about other ways to get involved in volunteering for us

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Christingle celebrations light up young lives

Photograph modelled for The Children's Society

Thousands of Christingle celebrations took place all over the country and even further afield at the end of last year. We’re very grateful to everyone who organised or attended a Christingle. The amazing total raised so far is already helping to light up the lives of children and young people suffering through poverty and neglect.  

Events will be happening into February, so please keep up your support for Christingle.

You’ll be in good company too, as TV personalities Alan Titchmarsh, Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford have all lent us their support over the Christingle season.

Find out more about Christingle and where your local celebrations are taking place

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Who Benefits?

We’ve joined up with Crisis, Gingerbread, Macmillan Cancer Support and Mind to talk about the truth about who gets benefits, why they need it and the difference it makes. The ‘Who Benefits?’ campaign shares the real stories of people who receive benefits.
Hundreds of people who have been supported by benefits have already shared their stories on the website and social media with the hashtag #WeAllBenefit.
Visit the Who Benefits? website for more information and to share your story and support the campaign.

Supporter survey prizewinners

Thanks to the thousands of supporters who completed the Supporter Survey enclosed with the autumn issue of Voice.

The winners were: (postal) Mr P Nash, Gloucestershire, 1st; Miss E Skinner, Avon, 2nd; Mrs C Gulliver, Berkshire, 3rd; (digital) Reverend E Shearcroft, London, 1st; Mr G Owenson, Fife, 2nd; Mrs J Boyle, Oxfordshire, 3rd.

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Care arrangements for trafficked children

All too often poor responses from government agencies make the difficulties and confusion faced by trafficked children far worse.
We recently conducted a review – commissioned by the Home Office – of the care arrangements for trafficked children in partnership with the Refugee Council. This highlighted key areas for improvement to help keep these vulnerable children safe.
The government is currently looking at what is needed to tackle human trafficking in the forthcoming Modern Slavery Bill. This is a great opportunity for politicians to take action to ensure child victims of trafficking receive the protection they need and for all unaccompanied children to have an independent guardian to look out for their welfare.

Say something if you see something

In partnership with the National Working Group Network we have developed a national toolkit to help the hotel industry tackle child sexual exploitation. This was launched in Parliament and endorsed by Damian Green MP, the minister responsible for tackling child sexual exploitation.
The campaign started in one of our Streetwise programmes in Coventry. Many young people there talked about ‘going to hotel parties’ – where there would be a lot of alcohol and drugs, and men who subsequently sexually assaulted them – when they went missing.
The ‘Say something if you see something’ toolkit enables groups and campaigners to develop resources and activities locally.
It includes materials such as leaflets, posters and training resources for hotel staff.

Buy a Real Easter Egg this year 

Of the 80 million Easter Eggs sold in the UK last year, not one of them mentioned the real story of Easter – until the Real Easter Egg came along.
When you’re planning for Easter, please see the Traidcraft brochure enclosed with your magazine for ordering details of the Real Easter Egg, as well as refreshments for your church, school or workplace.
All purchases made via this website carry a 10% donation to The Children’s Society from Traidcraft.