Bridging the Gap: Support Children in West London

by Kate Dolleymore in London, England, United Kingdom

Bridging the Gap: Support Children in West London

£31,835

raised in 170 days

+ est. £5,608 Gift Aid

41

supporters

To raise vital funds for access to food and essential household items, IT equipment and resources to help children engage with learning

by Kate Dolleymore in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We have ongoing needs to provide learning resources for Children and Young People so any additional money raised will go towards a fund that our Link Workers can use to provide additional resources to aid in their development. 


We need your help with #bridgingthegap - an appeal designed to help raise funds to provide the vital additional resources we need to give extra support to children and families throughout West London in the immediate crisis environment. If we can do that so that over the short -medium term we can help families weather this crisis, then we can also carry on our support for children and young people to achieve their goals over the long term.

About West London Zone 

We support children to overcome their challenges, achieve their goals and make their neighbourhoods better places for them, their family and friends. 

Our work is focused on an area of London which is one of the most unequal parts of the country where 1 in 5 children and young people are at risk of leaving school with few or no qualifications. In adulthood this can lead to unemployment, poor mental health and in some cases, criminal activity and this is what we work to prevent. 

We provide personalised 2 year programmes of activities for every child we work with so each gets the right support, in the right way at the right time to thrive. We do so by using our unique network of trusted adults - Our Link Workers - who know the children and their families really well, providing regular contact and guidance.  

Our West London Zone Link Workers design and facilitate each child’s 2 year programme with a range of specialist opportunities such as positive well being support, art, dance, academic support and much more from over 40 partner charities working locally, so that each child’s plan develops their skills, builds on their strengths and achieves their goals.  Currently we work with 900 children and young people aged 3-18 years in 25 schools across Kensington, Hammersmith, Brent and Westminster. 

The impact of Coronavirus on our community

The virus is creating new challenges for children and families in West London every day. It runs the risk of derailing thousands of children and young people's futures, through no fault of their own, if we don't do something now. 

We support children to help them improve their well being, engagement with learning and educational attainment and we have quickly adjusted our personalised and flexible service to ensure that we can continue to support the 900 children and young people currently on our programme, both remotely and where still possible and safe to do so, in person too, even though schools are closed. 

But we are experiencing a huge number of requests from the families participating in our programme for extra support, above and beyond the support we usually provide, so as to meet the daily needs Covid-19 now presents.

Because they trust their West London Zone Link Worker, who they have a deep working relationship with, they are turning to them to ask for help with emergency items for basic needs such as food, household goods, learning resources and activities.

A West London Zone Link Worker tells us: 

“Technology is the biggest social divider, with some of my children simply unable to access school learning well due to a shortage of technology in the home. They risk falling behind academically and many of my parents are anxious about this 

I also see severe cases of isolation from family support networks, difficulty understanding and using technology, lack of capability to maintain good health and well being whilst self-isolating in overcrowded accommodation. There is a great deal of anxiety and fear caused by inability to fully access government guidance due to language barriers and due to seeing so much on social media.”

Photo above of a Link Worker providing online support

How you can help

We need to act fast to maintain well being in the current environment and to keep confidence and educational progress from falling backwards over the longer term. We are working intensively  to keep children and young people on track for what is becoming a more uncertain future than ever before. This virus runs the risk of robbing thousands of children and young people's futures, through no fault of their own, if we don't do something now. 

Specifically our Link Workers have identified 4 key areas of practical support which the funds you offer could help provide: 

  • Food: We work with families who cannot access local food bank services due to post code issues or for health reasons cannot collect food vouchers from their children’s schools. We have identified an urgent need to buy food and essential household items quickly and easily to these families.  
  • IT: In order to engage effectively with learning there is a real need for tablets, kindles and laptops. Many of the children and young people we work with do not have access to sufficient tech to undertake their online learning or access important online support and resources. 
  • Translation services:  We are currently able to offer support to 86% of our families, but for the other 14% it has been extremely challenging, as many have significant language barriers beyond our current capabilities. We are keen to communicate with all of our families and so we urgently need to upweight our translation support to ensure that we can regularly check in with each and every family to help them access extra support they may need. 
  • Creative resources: In order to inspire the children we work with to engage effectively with school based and home learning, we need to provide resources such as colouring books, Lego, Play-doh, sticker books, pens, pencils etc.  

What your money can do 

  • £30 is enough to buy an educational resource pack for a child, full of creative, fun ways to engage them and help them to learn
  • £100 is enough to provide a food voucher which will provide essential groceries and household items for a family for 2 weeks 
  • £150 is enough to pay for a translator for a day to better facilitate communication between our Link Workers and a family who may need extra support
  • £500 is enough to provide 10 households with a tablet and educational software which will enable them to stay connected to their learning and access online well being support

We refuse to let COVID -19 derail children and young people’s futures.  #bridgingthegap will be the difference between children, young people and their families simply enduring this period of uncertainty, and making it through with their future potential intact and ready to thrive.

We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see Crowdfunder's Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.

Let's make 'Bridging the Gap: Support Children in West London' happen

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