Decorate A Child’s Life (DACL) is The Childhood Trust’s housing support programme that redecorates disadvantaged children's bedrooms, as well as local youth clubs and community centres children rely on for support. The purpose of the programme is to provide children living in substandard accommodation with safe environments where they can learn, play, and grow.
Renovation projects are designed by The Childhood Trust’s pro bono interior design team at Katharine Pooley and completed in one day by either a group of corporate volunteers or a team of professionals from Nirvana Maintenance.
The DACL programme's volunteering opportunities are reserved exclusively for our corporate partners - companies that make financial contributions to our core work.
"The children were absolutely ecstatic with the results! They could not wait to get into their beds and play with their toys in their rooms. Your support has helped make mum's life whole again."
The DACL programme operates two different support services for families and children living in substandard accommodation:
This service renovates and redecorates dilapidated bedrooms for children and young people from low-income families. During redecoration projects, The Childhood Trust’s team will paint the walls of the bedroom, make small repairs, and provide brand new furniture. All equipment, materials, and furniture needed for the redecorations are sourced by the programme and delivered to the families’ homes prior to the installations.
This service provides new bedroom furniture to children and families who do not have the essential items they need. Children in need of new bedroom furniture can receive the following items through the service: beds, bedding, desks, desk chairs, drawers, and wardrobes.
Referrals are required to access support from both services. Referrals can only be made by registered charities and local authorities. If you’re an individual looking to refer yourself to the programme, please get in touch with a local charity that would be willing to refer you. All referrals for the DACL programme are made through online forms, which can be accessed by clicking the links below. Please read our FAQ document before making a referral.
Despite being one of Europe’s richest cities, London has the highest child poverty rate in the country and one of the highest in Western Europe. A key driver of the capital’s high poverty rate is its housing market. A two-bedroom private rental in London is over double the average rate for the rest of England. As a result, thousands of low-income families in London are unable to afford essential furniture in addition to their rent payments.
Families in furniture poverty are unable to access the basic furniture items and appliances necessary for a decent quality of life. Factors contributing to families’ experiences of furniture poverty include low-income, narrow or exclusive criteria for support from councils, and a lack of funding available from local welfare provision schemes.
All furniture items purchased are brand new, chosen for individual children based on their needs and preferences, and delivered directly to the homes of families referred to our Decorate A Child's Life programme.
The Childhood Trust thanks Kingfisher for generously sponsoring this programme.
We also thank Katharine Pooley and Nirvana Maintenance for supporting the programme with pro-bono services.