Throughout the year many deserving Charities have been supported by our caring, generous Congregation and this month it is the worthwhile UK based organisation which is the Charity of the Month – The Children’s Society, a leading national children’s charity. The Society works for many thousands of vulnerable children and young people in this country and assists street children, disabled children, runaways, helps families with debt problems, supports young carers, children in trouble with the law as well as refugees, and works to stop exploitation of children.
The Church of England Children’s Society has helped change children’s lives for the better for well over a century since it was formed in 1881 by a Sunday School teacher, Edward Rudolf, when he found two of his Sunday School pupils begging for food on the streets. Despite being in the twenty-first century today, sadly such a Charity is still greatly needed and it really values your support. It works hard to ensure the money it receives is used efficiently and effectively to support their programmes of work to improve children’s lives.
Many children and young people in Britain today are still suffering extreme hardship, abuse and neglect and their problems are ignored and their voices unheard. The Society campaigns hard to fight childhood poverty and aims to help them all to have a better chance in life. It runs local projects helping them when they are at their most vulnerable and have nowhere left to turn.
The Society also campaigns to change the laws affecting children and young people to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future. Influenced by the Children’s Society, policy changes have brought changed attitudes and life-changing support to children and young people in this country. In the UK there are 3.7 million children living in poverty and during 2014/15 the Society worked with 34,000 vulnerable children through its direct services.
The Campaigns and services of the Society are changing and transforming children’s lives. The Children’s Society continues with its Fair and Square Campaign and the following, published in “The Teacher”, the publication of the National Union of Teachers, states: “The Children’s Society’s Fair and Square Campaign aims to ensure all children in poverty can get free school meals. Currently in England 1.2 million poor schoolchildren do not get free meals. About 700,000, from poor working families, are not even entitled to this key support . . .” (for more information see www.childrenssociety.org.uk/fairandsquare.)
Serious problems at home and family breakdown lead runaways from difficult home situations, to become caught up in drugs and alcohol abuse and at risk of exploitation. Many say they are under pressure and forced to make choices they are not comfortable with and which may jeopardise their future. It is known as an awkward age, but for the most vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds the challenges can be seriously awkward.
The Society’s Seriously Awkward Campaign calls on the Government to ensure that young people who are in danger are offered appropriate protection and support to thrive and stay safe. Young people are not recognised as victims of child sexual exploitation so are not getting the help they need. Huge numbers of the reported cases of these crimes against 16 and 17 year olds result in no police action against the perpetrators. Only a tiny proportion result in a successful prosecution.
The Society wishes to put this issue at the top of the Government agenda. It is vital that the law is strengthened so that young people who are suffering these crimes are protected from harm, and receive the help and justice they deserve. The Society aims to protect young people and wants to double its efforts to help very young people stay safe through specialised services across the country. Current laws mean the police cannot step in and protect older teenagers in the same way that they can protect children under 16.
The Society is calling on the Government to strengthen the law so that all 16 and 17 year olds experiencing sexual exploitation are protected from harm and get the support they need and the justice they deserve. Policy changes are needed to bring life-changing support to more than 1.8 million children and young people.
The Founder envisaged a charity that gave poor, homeless children a loving, secure family environment. These child-centered values and intentions remain the same today. The Society is genuinely committed to helping the most needy children and young people in the United Kingdom and its direct help fights childhood poverty, harm and neglect.
The Christingle Service this year is being held on Sunday, 13th December at 10.30am. To make a contribution please take a Christingle envelope from your pew and return it at our Christingle Service.
If you would like to have a House Collection Box please let me know.
Very many thanks.
Hazel Catling 242 355