The Children’s Society was founded in 1881 by a Sunday school teacher and civil servant, Edward Rudolph after he found himself confronted by the brutal effects of poverty on young children. When two young boys failed to turn up for his Sunday school, Rudolph went to look for them and was shocked to find them on the streets, begging for food. Their father had died, leaving their mother struggling to bring up seven children under 11 years old. Their experience was not an isolated one and so Rudolph was moved to act. He approached Archbishop Tait and expressed his concerns for children living in poverty and soon after the Church of England Central Home for Waifs and Strays was established. By 1919, with support from parishes and individuals, Rudolph set up 119 caring children’s homes across England and Wales. The Children’s Society has been at the forefront of Christian charity ever since, seeking to provide a meaningful future for disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
Making a Difference
I come from a family full of children (nieces and nephews) and I would hate to think of them having an underprivileged life, let alone other children and young people. That’s why I chose to work for The Children’s Society – to help make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children. I knew that the work I do in a charity would be much more rewarding and fulfilling for myself than if I was to work in a non-charitable organisation. I wanted to spread the word about what The Children’s Society does.
The Children’s Society has helped millions of children and young people since it was founded. We have a network of programmes including drop-in services for runaways, children’s centres and support for young carers. We help children who are refugees from violence, and we give those in care a voice. We transform childrens lives by pressurising central and local government to protect them, and we challenge attitudes that perpetuate harm and injustice. In hard times, children are among the hardest hit. We don’t just help them survive – we help them flourish.
The Children’s Society has helped families like Katarina’s, who was struggling to provide for her three children with her husband. When her baby was nearly due, she had to leave her full-time job and her employer didn’t offer maternity pay. Her partner was self-employed and couldn’t find any more work. The only income they had was £33 a week in child benefit. Her family was illegally evicted from their home. They couldn’t pay their bills or council tax on time so they were in debt. “We went to The Children’s Society for help and they worked with us so they could help support our family. They spoke to the housing association to make sure that we weren’t evicted from our temporary accommodation. They even helped to stop a £1200 fine that my partner received from the tax office when he didn’t finish the self-employment paperwork on time because his English wasn’t good.” Without our supporters, The Children’s Society wouldn’t be able to help families like Katarina’s, struggling with severe financial problems.
What I hope for The Children’s Society in the future is that it can continue to raise awareness of the difficulties that many children and young people face such as poverty, abuse and neglect, and that it can give them a life that they are entitled to by supporting them and their families. I hope that these issues can be eradicated once and for all and that each child can have the childhood they’re entitled to.
Alternative Gifts Appeal
This Christmas we are focusing on our Alternative Gifts appeal. These are fun, feel-good gifts with one amazing difference – every gift you buy will support children across England who need our help. It’s a great way to show your loved ones you’re thinking of them this Christmas while making a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable children. You can either buy a Christmas present, Christmas party or day out for a vulnerable child to make them smile.
Alternative Gifts can be bought online at: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-you-can-do/fundraising-and-appeals/alternative-christmas-gifts and from our shops.
There are many other ways to support the charity this Christmas, including buying a Real Advent calendar which tells the Christmas story. From each calendar sold from a Tesco supermarket, a donation will be made to The Children’s Society. For more information visit http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-views/article/all-things-christmas