Posted: 16 January 2015

News roundup: Pot of gold, policy update, retail activity

A golden opportunity goes swimmingly

a young boy jumping in a pool

A young boy jumps in a pool in Swindon

For children from families living in supported housing in St Ives Court, Nythe, life can be hard - especially as they may not have access to the activities that others their age might.

Luckily, these families can apply for a grant from our Pot of Gold fund to help provide fun and stimulation for the children.

Torz Russell, a family support worker based at Eldene Children's Centre in Swindon, helped these families claim £360 from the Pot of Gold - enough for 12 families to enjoy six weeks of swimming lessons at Dorcan Recreation Centre and work towards their Little Duckling badge.

Tasha Schofield's daughters, three-year-old Gracie and six-month-old Marllie, both benefited. 'Gracie hadn't been swimming before,' Tasha explains. 'I'm so happy about the progress she made.'

'All the children were excited,' says Torz. 'It was a fantastic opportunity to show how The Children's Society can make a positive difference to people.'

Policy update

Your support means we can campaign for children and young people

Huge step forward for payday loans campaign

Earlier in 2014 we began lobbying the Government to make it illegal to air payday loan adverts before the watershed - when children are likely to see them. Now, after our fantastic Ready Teddy £oans campaign and backing from supporters like you, the Government has announced that the advertising watchdog will review when these adverts can be broadcast.

More children to get school meals

A significant victory for our Fair and Square campaign came last year when the Government revealed that it would roll out free meals to all infant school children from September 2014. But Matthew Reed stressed more needs to be done: 'Ministers must build on this to make sure that every child in poverty is guaranteed a free meal, whatever their age.'

Calling for a national register of missing children

We are lobbying for the Government to introduce a national register of missing children so information is shared efficiently across boundaries of local authorities and police forces. At the time of this publication, our petition had gathered a fantastic 8500 signatures supporting this call.

Local Welfare Assistance review

Local Welfare Assistance schemes provide a crucial safety net for families in crisis. We are lobbying the Government to keep this vital safety net in place.

Retail news

First new brand shop gets off to a flying start

our Shirley shop


Our shop in Shirley is our first shop to feature our new brand

Our shop in Shirley, Solihull is the first of our charity shops to display our eye-catching new branding.

‘The comments  from customers have all been really positive, and the shop looks to be a huge success,’ said Retail Support Manager Patricia Cook. ‘It was the envy of the high street!’ And it doesn’t just look good – shop sales on opening day totalled an amazing £2755.

All new shops that we open will be in line with the new brand, but in order to keep costs down we will be looking to refurbish our existing shops by May.

A close call for Retail’s Million Pound Month

Our Retail team set themselves an ambitious target of raising £1 million in November. Staff and volunteers really got into the spirit of the 'Million Pound Month' with a variety of fundraising  events, including a sponsored silence in Ormskirk and cake sales in Norwich.

Sadly, they didn’t quite reach £1 million, but did raise £70,000 more than the previous November. Well done to everyone involved!

By Matt Summers-Sparks - Digital team

Read more

Welcome to the Spring 2015 issue of Voice magazine

Posted: 15 January 2015