Help make summer happen for Battersea’s refugee children

How do you rescue the special fun and freedom of summer for impoverished refugee children in Battersea, depressed by months living under lockdown, missing the unique values of education at school, and living in confined homes where parents may have lost their jobs and incomes?

As a solution to these important social issues and featuring a valuable double-your-money, match-funding incentive for donors, a new fundraising initiative is being launched on Tuesday, June 23 this month by the popular Battersea-based community services charity, Katherine Low Settlement (KLS).

Called KLS Champions for Children 2020 and part of Katherine Low Settlement’s Love to Learn programme, in a week the appeal aims to raise over £12,000 from the public, aided by the match-funding feature. Love to Learn is the charity’s ongoing and popular educational service to children and young people in the Battersea community.

The money raised will be spent by Katherine Low Settlement on organising a host of exciting activities and events including wellbeing workshops, stimulating discovery trips and other valuable learning experiences. These activities will help refugee children and young people in the locality gain not only new and sustaining educational benefits during the summer months, but also have fun and enjoy themselves at the same time.

Combining learning with having fun makes for effective education and forms lasting and valuable memories,” says Aaron Barbour, director of Katherine Low Settlement. “After months of lockdown and deprivation, KLS Champions for Children 2020 aims to open the door to allow refugee children to make the very best of the summer, learn new skills and knowledge, and enjoy themselves after weeks of Covid-19 lockdown.

“The money we hope to raise means we can offer refugee children - of all ages, nationalities and religions - a great many memorable and fun-filled experiences to help develop their confidence, gain new life skills and learn more about the capital city and the country in which they have made their new home.”

Refugee children face special challenges, he says, especially those who are new to the United Kingdom. To successfully assimilate into the community they may have to get over, for example, frightening experiences from the country they left. Additionally, they have to quickly learn the English language, understand this country’s customs and fit into a completely new culture.

Positive activities and stimulating trips during the summer holidays are a crucial part of every child’s education and development. Refugee children are no different. Like other young people, they are eager to learn and explore, adapt to new circumstances and enthusiastically make a new life for themselves,” he adds.

Organised by Katherine Low Settlement and all within relevant and official Covid-19 guidelines, the range of inspiring and fun-orientated activities will include: visits to places and events otherwise unaffordable or inaccessible; providing practical packs for virtual, online workshops covering activities such as making art and design works, baking bread, cakes and other foods; holding small group activities and educational workshops in the open air; arranging trips to Battersea Park and the Royal Parks; and family days out to other parts of London to learn more about the capital city and this country.

 

Match-funding magic – how £1 becomes £2, £5 becomes £10 . . .

Importantly, every donation – large or small – made to KLS Champions for Children 2020 will be doubled in value, thanks to a generous match-funding contribution scheme from Francis Holland School in Chelsea and the Childhood Trust, and running on the UK’s largest match-funding platform, The Big Give. Every pound or more given to KLS Champions for Children 2020 by a member of the public will be matched by exactly the same amount from the match-funding sponsors. For example, a £20 donation jumps to £40 through the match-funding process.

“The double-your-donation match-funding scheme is a great way for donors to make a real difference to what they give, in difficult times, at least cost to them, no matter how much or how little they give,” says Katherine Low Settlement’s Aaron Barbour.

“It is very important to Katherine Low Settlement and we thank Francis Holland School and the Childhood Trust for this generous opportunity to deliver twice as many benefits to refugee children and make the appeal doubly effective.”

Money raised from last year’s campaign, called KLS Summer Give 2019, helped Katherine Low Settlement offer 424 children the opportunity to take part in activities and trips out during the summer holidays.

From today, KLS Champions for Children 2020 will run for a week and end at noon on Tuesday, 30th June.

Online donations may be made at: https://donate.thebiggive.org.uk/campaign/a051r00001WVC1cAAH