Kids Company appeals for funds as it expands to Bristol

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder, Kids Company

Kids Company appeals for funds as it expands to Bristol

Fundraising | Niki May Young | 9 Jul 2012

Kids Company, which supports 17,000 young people in London every year, has launched an urgent appeal for funding to expand, in the face of research which shows that up to one million children could be living in vulnerable families in the UK by 2015.

The charity, headed by its founder Camila Batmanghelidjh (pictured), pleads on its website for funding in order to support its services:

"We really need your help; Kids Company is very short of money. The number of children seeking sanctuary with us has gone up and many of them are arriving at our street-level centres hungry and without anywhere to live," the statement from Batmanghelidjh advises.

"In the last 16 years Kids Company has had no money from local authorities for our social care and mental health work with vulnerable children, so we are entirely reliant on charitable donations and the goodwill of the public. We look posh, we look rich, but believe me, all we do is beg," she adds. 

A spokeswoman for the charity told that the charity will launch in Bristol shortly. Unable to provide further details, the spokeswoman said: "We are looking to expand, we're in the process of setting up Kids Company Bristol and we're applying for tenders to set up elsewhere...We need to expand because we've got more kids to feed and take care of."

The expansion comes as joint research by the NSPCC, the Children’s Society and Action for Children warns that one million children in the UK, the equivalent of three children in every classroom, will be facing serious deprivation by 2015.

In the eye of the storm: Britain’s forgotten children and families calculates the impact of the recession and cuts on vulnerable children, the first time such a study has been commissioned. It claims that the most vulnerable families with children will be "disproportionately affected by tax and benefit changes and significantly affected by other cuts in spending". By 2015, it says, vulnerable families will be £3,000 worse off every year as a result of these measures. 

The NSPCC, Children's Society and Action for Children currently help 400,000 children between them every year. Their research, they say, shows that the number of vulnerable families and children is "often understated", but that "on whatever definition, their number will grow sustantially in the coming years".

The study used the Families and Children Study dataset, which was used by the Cabinet Office in 2007 to identify families at risk. The dataset identified seven vulnerabilities:

  1. Worklessness – no parent in the family is in work;
  2. Housing – the family lives in poor quality and/or overcrowded housing;
  3. Qualifications – no parent in the family has any academic or vocational qualifications;
  4. Mental health – the mother has mental health problems;
  5. Illness/disability – at least one parent has a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity;
  6. Low income – the family has low income (below 60 percent of the median);
  7. Material deprivation – the family cannot afford a number of food and clothing items 

However the children's charities say that the Cabinet Office defined those at risk as those families with five or more of the criteria, branding this threshold "entirely arbitrary". The new report looks at those families with both fewer and more or these characteristics "to give a more complete picture of the extent of vulnerability".

The spokeswoman for Kids Company, which has a budget of roughly £16m per year, and rising, said that its difficulty is not a reduction in donations, but an increase in demand for services. The charity launched the 'plate pledge' appeal in February to raise around £1m to provide 580,000 meals for vulnerable children. It has since seen 157,795 meals pledged. But, she advised, despite the relative success of the campaign, "essentially we're always very short of money, for what we do we're on a shoestring really". 



[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear


  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

BBC to air documentary about the final days at Kids Company

9 Oct 2015

BBC One has commissioned a documentary with the working title 'The rise and fall of the Angel of Peckham’...

Commission consults on allowing charities to file digital accounts

9 Oct 2015

The Charity Commission has launched a consultation on a process which will allow charities to submit accounts...

Finance directors must work on being ‘leaders not bean-counters’, Charity Finance Summit hears

9 Oct 2015

Finance directors must make their role as much about leadership and communication as managing money, the...

PayPal Giving Fund announces partnership worth over £1m a year to UK charities

7 Oct 2015

PayPal Giving Fund has announced that it has opened a new fundraising platform with digital storefront...

Partnership between Sky and World Wildlife Fund ends after raising over £9m

6 Oct 2015

A partnership between World Wildlife Fund and Sky has ended after raising over £9m since 2009, with the...

Richard Hawkes takes newly-created role at British Asian Trust

5 Oct 2015

Richard Hawkes, former chief executive of Scope, has landed a new job as chief executive of the British...

MS Society warns web users of personal data breach after hacking scare

2 Oct 2015

The MS Society has written to approximately 25,000 of its web users to warn them their personal information...

Facebook apologise to charity after advert ban U-turn

1 Oct 2015

Social media giant Facebook has apologised to the Royal National Institute for the Blind after it lifted...

Pennies reaches 20 million micro-donation milestone

10 Sep 2015

Pennies, a micro-donation tool, has announced that it has now collected over 20 million donations through...

Join the discussion


Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<