Who we Are

The Childhood Trust funds grass roots charities and their projects to alleviate the impact of child poverty in London.  Every child has the right to a safe and happy childhood so we partner with and fund the very best initiatives and projects.

We use our funds to generate and match other donations, primarily through our online fundraising campaigns and fundraising partnerships. Since our inception in 2013 we have been able to multiply funds donated to us by an average factor of 4.69, meaning that for every £1 dontated to us, we've generated £4.69 of funding for projects supporting children.  In total, since 2013 our matched giving campaigns have raised £12.56m. 

We make grants to proven charities that are working directly with disadvantaged children. Our work is themed across three areas; meeting children's practical needs, supporting children's emotional needs and inspiring children with new experiences and opportunities.

Our support across these themes promotes the development of strong foundations for learning, resilience and aspiration. The impact of our grants is externally monitored and since we started we have helped more than 180,000 children through our partnerships with over 150 charities throughout London. 


Laurence Guinness
Chief Executive
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Sarah Johnstone
Programme Manager
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Our Board
Grant Gordon
Chairman of Board of Trustees
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Sonal Shenai
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David Lewis
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Lucy Capron
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Mathias Hink
Trustee - Treasurer
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Galiema Amiem Cloete
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Lesley O'Mara
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What we do

The Challenge

  • 700,000 children in London live in poverty. That's 4 out of 10 of the UK's children.
  • Despite being one of the richest cities in the world, London has one of the worst records among the European capitals for childhood poverty. Most children in poverty in London live in working families.   

Analysis by the New Policy Institute for The Trust for London (2015) reports that a million Londoners who are defined as living in poverty are members of households in which at least one adult has a job. The figures include 450,000 children who live in such households.

The vast majority (78%) of children in poverty are living in rented housing (more than 530,000 out of 680,000), half with a registered social landlord and half with a private landlord. The number of children in poverty in private rented housing has more than doubled in ten years.

  • Childhood poverty can have serious and long term consequences.

High levels of child poverty are associated with worse child health outcomes, shorter life expectancy, truancy and school exclusion, anti-social behaviour, substance misuse, teenage pregnancy, lower educational attainment and future unemployment. 

The Solution

  • The Childhood Trust supports work with children and young people of school age (4-18)

We know that the earlier we can reach children, the greater the impact will be on mitigating the consequences of poverty. 

  • We support grassroots and community organisations.

Working in communities across London, we support organisations providing targeted interventions and solutions that are tackling the key problems affecting children in their area.

Most of the projects we support deliver services that are vital to the children who need them. These include services such as; mentoring, hot meals, social work referrals and liaison, educational support, counselling, sports activities, arts and cultural activities and many other forms of support. Most of our projects offer support that isn't available through the statutory local authority provision and the majority depend on volunteers to deliver their work.

  • All the organisations we support work with children in London
  • We actively seek to implement the United Nation's Development Programme's Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. We are particulary focused on the first 3 SDG's 


We fund and facilitate projects that demonstrably improve the lives of disadvantaged children and to do that effectively, we channel our funding into 3 thematic areas:

Practical - Ready to Learn

Ensuring that children have access to the basic necessities 

We support groups and projects that meet children’s practical needs, enabling them to make the most of the educational opportunities that they have, and to flourish in school.

Projects that we support include:

  • Provision of meals outside school times eg. breakfast clubs, after school and holiday meals programmes with the emphasis on nutritious, healthy eating.
  • Provision of basics such as clothing, beds, toiletries, books and toys. 
  • Homework clubs, Saturday schools and other extra-curricular activities.
  • Parental training and support.

Emotional - Safe, secure and supported

Offering emotional support and motivation to break the cycle of poverty

Our work promotes the emotional well-being of vulnerable children, helping them to address the often complex issues and barriers they face. We support organisations that work in partnership with children, offering them a safe and trusted adult who they can engage with for emotional support.

Projects that we support provide:

  • Mentoring, providing 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 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.

Inspirational - Thriving, not just surviving

Providing opportunities to try new experiences and develop new skills

Our support provides children with opportunities to be inspired, grow and flourish; to build confidence through offering chances and experiences that their families may not be able to afford. By delivering these experiences in a safe environment children can explore and discover new skills that help them to 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 such as theatre visits, music and singing, drawing / painting, reading and trips to cultural attractions.  

Find more about our thematic areas and the projects associated with them on our projects page

Our Projects

Our Safeguarding Policy can be downloaded here

How We Do It

How do we help alleviate child poverty?

The Childhood Trust funds projects run by charities, community groups and social enterprises that can demonstrate a proven impact in alleviating child poverty in London. We believe in making the most of the great work already being done to reduce child poverty in disadvantaged communities. We do not simply offer grants and collect data reports. We create opportunities for our funding to be multiplied by matching donations and harnessing the power of digital fundraising.

We work in partnership with those we support.

We try to meaningfully engage with our chosen projects and offer assistance to enable effective projects to grow. We have an entrepreneurial ethos, seeking and promoting innovation and opportunity to reduce the impact of child poverty. We want to play an active part in helping our partner organisations to scale up so they can help more children.  In recognising that our partners resources are often stretched we offer added value support, such as skills training and fundraising advice to help projects become more sustainable.

The results speak for themselves.

We are proud of our track record in leveraging more than £4 for every £1 we invest in projects. To date we have match funded 401 projects that have delivered services to over 180,000 disadvantaged children across all the London Boroughs. Through our partnerships with other donors we continue to strive towards increasing the availability and quality of practical and emotional support services throughout London so that many more children can experience a safe and happy childhood. 

View or download our latest Annual Report and Accounts (2018)