Every child deserves to feel wanted, special and valued
Free to Be Kids is a growing charity that creates lasting change for particularly vulnerable children & young people with histories of poverty, trauma or abuse.
Supporting childhoods with nature, nurture & love
Our volunteers work with disadvantaged children across London to rebuild self-esteem, boost resilience and help explore challenging emotions and ways of managing. We do this through a range of therapeutic adventures & countryside-based residential projects, in all seasons, as well as through long term mentoring and youthwork in London.
The power of being outdoors
We work using the inherent power of the outdoors, animals, nature and the arts. We believe in childhood, muddy trainers, new challenges, self expression, and real human relationships. Our aim is to open up a sense of adventure, freedom and possibility for children who are struggling, whatever life's circumstances.
Experience joy and adventure within childhood
Above all we believe that every child deserves to feel wanted, special and valued and to experience joy and adventure within their childhood. Free To Be is largely volunteer run and relies on the support of hundreds of like minded individuals each year.
If you want to learn more about Free to Be Kids, please see our latest Impact Report.
- Hear from the children and young people about their experiences of Free to Be Kids
- Read case studies and evaluation data to show the impact of what we do
- See more of our projects in action
- Understand the wider impact of our work from parents, teachers and social workers
What makes Free to Be Kids special?
Our residentials and mentoring don’t remove risks. Instead, for children impacted by risk/trauma, they fill in important psychological gaps, providing positive, joyful experiences that lead to a healthier overall psychological narrative, in turn helping children to deal better with future adversity. We provide a truly positive environment rather than trying to solve a problem.
Breadth & Depth of Work
Our projects are tailored to support children with complex behavioural needs, who would struggle to access many other forms of support. Children initially attend a 5 day reisdential project, where our team live alongside them, building trust and completing an in depth assessment of their needs. From here, we're able to provide ongoing, consistent support throughout childhood for the most in need, through further residentials, mentoring and our Young Leaders Programmes.
Cost Effective Impact
Our therapeutically structured model uses volunteers, supported, trained and supervised by our expert staff team, to work alongside children. This allows us to ensure staffing levels of at least one adult to every three children, ensuring every child recieves the positive attention and support they deserve.
We benefit from almost 10,000 hours of volunteering each year - thats over £130,000 worth of time, paid at the London Living Wage.
Our five year goals
Double the number of project places
We aim to double of number places we can offer & increase the amount of follow on support we can provide for the most in need children.
To do this, we'll need to:
- Increase our funding from £550,000 to £900,000 per year
- Double our number of volunteers from 250 to 500
- Grow our permanent staff team from 6 to 15
Grow our long term support
Our most transformative work takes place when we are able to be a consistent safe and positive presence in a child's life throughout their childhood and adolescence, but at the moment, we can only provide this level of support for the most in need children. We want to increase the number of children we are able to support in this way by growing our staff and volunteer teams to support further long term work.
Continued secured growth
To allow us to scale, we need to invest in sustainable ways to grow our work. We have recently taken on a long term partership to operate our first permanent residential base and are looking to take on a second site over the coming 3-5 years. We continue to develop our business planning process and are in the process of diversifying our income streams.