We provide life-changing help and support to some of the most vulnerable children in our country and we are delighted to introduce you to our charity.
Reedham Children's Trust has been helping children for more than 170 years. We've adapted our services as times have changed always seeking the most innovative ways to meet the needs of vulnerable children. We began as one of the first orphanages for fatherless children, developed into a residential school in 1950, and since the closing of the school in 1980 we have offered a unique grants programme supporting vulnerable children with their care and education at boarding schools.
We know that nurture and stability are critical to healthy child development and enabling children to grow into successful young adults and take their place in the world. The families we work with are struggling to care for their children; many comprise lone parents suffering disability or long term mental or physical ill health. Read one of our young carer case studies here. Many of the children we help are living with other family members, such as grandparents, after the death of a parent or due to their parents' inability to care. These kinship carers often receive little support and their own health may be fragile too. Every child's circumstances is unique but a common feature is anxiety about their home situation often coupled with some level of a caring role emotionally or physically for a parent. The range of issues facing families we supported in the last academic year are illustrated here. The majority of these children fail to reach their full potential at school, particularly as they move through adolescence. They may lack some of the things most children take for granted, for example, help with homework, clean school uniform, regular meals or having friends home for tea. These children are at higher risk of poor mental or physical health themselves, which may in turn result in them raising their own children in similar circumstances and perpetuating a cycle of disadvantage.
Boarding, either on a full or weekly basis, at a school matched to the needs of an individual child, provides a literally life changing experience for these children and young people. It removes the barriers to high achievement by offering a nurturing, safe and secure environment. It offers routine, structure, nutritious food and help with homework. The children we support tell us they have access to an unbelievable range of out of school activities and clubs, have made life-long friendships and have increased self-worth and confidence. They are often in daily contact with their families and spend regular time at home but through their boarding placement they achieve well academically, develop strong emotional well-being and high ambition and aspirations for their futures.