Colour a Child’s Life
Through our Colour a Child’s Life project, Kids Company volunteers help to transform the living conditions of children and families in some of London’s most disadvantaged communities.
Children are reliant on those who care for them to create a safe and nurturing home environment. Sadly, many parents are unable to sustain an appropriate standard of care due to poverty, mental health difficulties, substance misuse problems or simply not being prepared for the task of parenting.
Our staff find children living in conditions of extreme deprivation, in environments which are dirty, unsanitary and often lacking in the most basic necessities such as clean bedding, cups, plates and simple furniture.
These are families living in local authority accommodation where social work departments are at breaking point and demand outweighs resources, leaving children in unacceptable conditions of poverty and neglect. Often young people who have been in the care system are given their own flat, only to find that it needs significant work to turn it into a home.
Families struggling on low incomes need support and expertise to help make the changes needed to improve the lives of their children, while teenagers moving into a flat of their own for the first time require help to make it into a place where they can feel comfortable and safe.
Children and their families are referred to our ‘Colour a Child’s Life’ team for help by keyworking staff at our centres. A Kids Company worker then visits the home to assess what needs to be done to make it into a safe, healthy environment, and our team plan an appropriate programme of repair and refurbishment. Kids Company staff who specialise in cleaning, decorating and carpentry are assisted in renovating the home by volunteers, either as individuals or in corporate teams.
After work on the home is complete our staff continue to keep in contact with the family and monitor the children’s progress in order to ensure that they have adequate support in maintaining a healthy standard of living. Families respond positively to our interventions and ongoing support, which are always undertaken from a caring, non-judgemental perspective.
Kids Company’s ‘Colour a Child’s Life’ project is uniquely effective in its service delivery:
- Our team are innovative and flexible in their approach. Each project is tailormade to meet the needs of the family or young person involved.
- We are able to rapidly release funds for emergency work, which has proven crucial for children living in unsafe and exceptionally depleted conditions.
- Because of the wide-ranging services we provide across housing, childcare and health, we are able to address diverse issues quickly, without the need for referrals or waiting periods.
- Before, during and after the renovation project, children and families are supported by our staff team, and any concerns about a child’s wellbeing are robustly followed up by our safeguarding team.
- We rely largely on donations of paint, materials, furniture and time, which means that our overheads are low.
- The support of teams of volunteers means that we are able to deliver cost-effective interventions and complete work quickly.
How you can support Colour a Child’s Life
- Donating goods in kind such as paint, furniture, curtains, cutlery, crockery and electrical appliances. To find out more about what we need and how to donate, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Getting your company to give a team day of time to volunteer with us, and encouraging friends and colleagues to do the same at their companies. To get involved, email: email@example.com.
- Making a financial donation to support the running costs of the project.