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Who We Are

The Childhood Trust is London’s child poverty charity, dedicated to alleviating the impact of poverty on children and young people living in the capital. We bring companies, philanthropists, and other donors together to fund projects and services that support thousands of children and young people in London each year.

Our Vision & Mission

We believe that every child should have a healthy, happy and safe childhood so that all children are well prepared for life, breaking the cycle of poverty.

We alleviate the impact of poverty for children in London by funding and delivering programmes that meet children's practical and emotional needs. We work with children to raise public awareness of their experiences of living in poverty.

Our Values

Courageous - We fight for every child’s right to live their life free of the impact of poverty.

Caring - We recognise that every child has the right to feel loved, be safe and have their voice heard.

Aspirational - We believe that every child should be ready and able to make the most of their educational and life opportunities.

Collaborative - We are committed to a culture of trust, integrity and partnership.

Inclusive – We uphold diversity and equality in all our work.

How We Do It

The Challenge

  • 800,000 children in London live in poverty.
  • London is one of the richest cities in the world but has one of the highest rates of child poverty among European capitals.
  • Nearly 75% of children in poverty in London live in working families.
  • Poverty can have detrimental effects on childhood health and development.
How We Do It

The Solution

  • Funding Local Projects – We fund projects delivered by effective grassroots children’s charities through our bi-annual matched-fundraising campaigns. The matched-fundraising model leverages funds for local youth projects by incentivizing donors to give and give more than they normally would on the basis of having those funds matched by The Childhood Trust.
  • Supporting Children through Volunteering – We work with corporations, registered children’s charities, and local authorities’ Social Services teams to run two different volunteer programmes that provide immediate, practical support to vulnerable families and local youth projects.
  • Advocating for Disadvantaged Children – We highlight the voices and experiences of children living in poverty in London through advocacy projects and events. Our research and advocacy work elucidates the hardships experienced by disadvantaged children.

dedicated to alleviating the impact of poverty on children and young people

Key Themes

Ready To Learn

Ensuring that children have access to the necessities

We support groups and projects that meet children’s practical needs, enabling them to make the most of their educational and life opportunities.

Projects that we support include:

  • Provision of meals outside school times, i.e., breakfast clubs and after school and holiday meals
  • Provision of material goods, i.e., clothing, beds, toiletries, books and toys
  • Homework clubs, Saturday schools, extra-curricular educational activities
  • Parental training and support.
Safe, Secure and Supported

Offering emotional support and motivation to break the cycle of poverty

We support organisations that prioritise the emotional well-being of vulnerable children and help them to address the complex issues and barriers they face. More specifically, we support organisations that work in partnership with children to offer safe and trusted spaces and leaders they can rely on for support.

Projects that we support provide:

  • Mentoring, academic, and life skills support.
  • Community based counselling and therapeutic interventions. 
  • In-school therapeutic services such as psychotherapy, art psychotherapy, speech and language therapy, substance misuse counselling and other bespoke counselling services.
  • Diversionary activities for those at risk of gang involvement or anti-social behaviour.
  • Out-of-school play based activities that help children make friends, socialise, and have fun in a safe environment.
Thriving, Not Just Surviving

Providing opportunities to try new experiences and develop new skills

We support projects providing children with opportunities to be inspired, grow and flourish; projects that build confidence through new experiences that would otherwise be financially inaccessible. Inspirational activities, opportunities, and experiences delivered in safe environments allow children to freely explore and discover new skills that can help them thrive.

Projects we support include:

  • Youth clubs and safe places for play.
  • Enrichment opportunities through art, drama, music, and sport.
  • Leadership and enterprise training.
  • Cultural activities and programmes, i.e., theatre visits, music lessons, and trips to cultural attractions.

Theory of Change


Meeting children's needs by building sector capacity

  • Matched fundraising campaigns
  • Partnership delivery programmes
  • Volunteering programmes

Changing the landscape via advocacy and raising awareness

  • Campaign
  • Events
  • Research
  • Matched funded delivery of effective projects
  • Widescale engagement with disadvantage children
  • Improve children's living conditions
  • Increased sector effectiveness
  • Increased public awareness & engagement
  • Children have a voice
  • Informed public debate
Ultimate Goals
Ultimate Goals

Children are ready for life

  • Reduced/eliminated adverse experience & toxic stress
  • Increased health and wellbeing
  • Greater resilience
  • Positive family & peer relationships
  • Maximum benefit from education
  • Inspired, hopeful and work ready

Breaking the cycle of poverty

  • Relationships with charities and donors
  • Alignment with partners
  • Ability to make appropriate connections
  • Limitations of charities capacity to participate
  • Project's effectiveness
  • Socio-economic policies
  • Media access
  • Public engagement
  • Reputation and awareness
  • Resources available (funds, staff, volunteers, & pro bono support)
  • Ability to monitor & report impact
  • Selection & effectiveness of programmes
  • Functional relationships with partners
  • Governance & Board


Safeguarding Policy

Recent News


Grant Gordon, founder & chair of The Childhood Trust, is awarded OBE in the 2021 New Years...

The Met’s & Childhood Trust’s first virtual Christmas Tree Appeal is best year ever!

The Met’s & Childhood Trust’s first virtual Christmas Tree Appeal is best year ever! After...

Our Christmas Challenge 2020 raises a record £3,060,747 for 85 charities!

Our Big GIve Christmas Challenge campaign 2020 has raised £3,060,747 for 85 London...