Advent Appeal: The Children’s Society
“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (Luke 18.16)
The Children’s Society has helped change children’s stories for over 130 years.
In late nineteenth-century London a young Sunday school teacher, Edward Rudolf, was shocked to find two young boys, who had failed to turn up for Sunday school, begging in the streets, because their father had died and their mother was struggling to bring up a family of seven children. Realising that this was not an isolated situation Rudolf approached the Archbishop of Canterbury with the suggestion that the Church should be at the forefront of social action for such children. The Archbishop enthusiastically agreed and by 1919 113 caring homes had been set up throughout England and Wales. This began the close association between the Children’s Society and the Church of England.
The Children’s Society’s prime aim is to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life. The Society seeks to expose injustice and address hard truths, fighting for change based on the experiences of every child it works with and the solid evidence it gathers. The Society’s work is guided by close consultation with bishops and senior clergy across the country, including its presidents, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. It works locally with Church of England schools, with the networks of Diocesan children’s work advisors and youth officers and bishops in the House of Lords. It also works with all the major Christian denominations and with people of other faiths to be a driving force for change for children where it is most needed.
The Society fights poverty and neglect. 3.7 million children live in poverty in the UK: growing up in poverty has a hugely detrimental effect on children’s well-being and their potential in life: they are likely to have poor physical and mental health and not to get qualifications and to finish their education. The Society’s frontline services offer crucial advice, information and support for families facing poverty and it also lobbies and campaigns for change on the issues that face these families, such as debt and welfare reform.
The number of children experiencing neglect at home or from institutions and the wider society is shocking – the Society’s response ranges from helping young carers to have a proper childhood to supporting victims of child exploitation. It provides therapy and counselling for teenagers struggling with metal and emotional health issues and speaks out for unaccompanied asylum-seekers and victims of trafficking. It also works to improve policies, attitudes and wider professional practice around teenage neglect.
Please pray during Advent for the Children’s Society and its work and give generously for the continuation and development of that work. You can read more about the work of the Children’s Society on its website www.childrenssociety.org.uk.