Project information

Empowering vulnerable families

This is a project to help vulnerable families with school-aged children who struggle every day with:

Domestic abuse
Overcrowded housing
Food poverty

Children will benefit from a fantastic out-of-school programme, while parents get the help they need to cope better with day to day life

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information: Cardinal Hume Centre

Cardinal Hume Centre logo
  • Need


    Thousands of families in Westminster struggle each day with housing, food and other basics.

    In the areas surrounding our Centre, child poverty is a serious concern and there are few secure and safe spaces for children to learn and play for free.

    For families trying to get by day to day, the danger is that their children grow up in poverty and miss out on opportunities enjoyed by their peers. They may face difficulties with homework and lack chances for creative expression and socialising.


    Children aged 5-16 and their parents will be supported by dedicated staff with

    - After school learning development courses for disadvantaged primary school children

    - School holiday activities, trips and creative learning for school aged children

    - Back to school preparation programme with maths and science help

    - Advice on housing and employment for parents

    The project focuses on opportunities for the whole family to improve their prospects for the future and their day to day lives

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Enhance the ability of children from disadvantaged households to develop socially and academically


    » 2-hour homework club twice a week with volunteer support, to make sure children's academic progress doesn't suffer from a chaotic home environment.
    » Back to school preparation programme to get children ready for the new school year, with volunteer help in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths.
    » After school club three times a week with a drama element for children to socialise and have new, enriching experiences in a safe environment.

    100 children each year will be able to:
    - Complete their homework
    - Improve their social skills & make friends
    - Learn with volunteers on key subjects such as science and maths

    Aim 2

    Improve day to day life chances for the whole family


    » Family social activity every saturday, with creative and learning opportunities for families to bond and have new experiences
    » Holiday programme for children of all ages. Drama, music and craft sessions. Trips to local attractions and days out for the whole family.
    » Expert advice and problem solving for parents with housing and employment, so that their chances of providing for their children are enhanced.

    30 families will benefit by
    - Having new and enriching experiences together weekly
    - Accessing advice on housing and employment
    - Discussing school work and life together

  • Impact


    For children the long-term impact of using the project will be:
    Better able to complete homework and learn independently
    Improved educational prospects
    Better equipped with social skills

    Families will:
    Be less isolated and more able to deal with problems
    Have better prospects for work and housing
    Become closer and more invested in their children's learning

    We will measure the success of each family by working closely with them throughout and recording progress for children and parents.


    1. Under-attendance
    We will work closely with school, health providers and other local organisations to market the project to families
    2. Over-attendance
    We will manage waiting lists and make our capacity clear to partners
    3. Absence of key staff
    We have a procedure for recruiting temporary staff and covering absence
    4. Child protection
    We are OFSTED registered and have appropriate child protection policies and practices in place


    Donors can opt in to receive newsletters and updates directly from us on the progress of this project and all of our work, twice a year.

    We keep an up-to-date website filled with case studies and stories about our activities, and keep donors up to date on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £136,569

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £87,296 Staff Salaries including NI Project co-ordinator, Saturday worker, out of school coordinator, holiday workers, advice worker
      £8,260 Volunteer support Reimbursement for travel and lunch, support and recruitment
      £12,200 Project materials Refreshments, equipment, tickets, consumables, space maintenance and travel for outings
      £11,000 Management and training Direct management, training e.g. food hygiene, first aid, safeguarding, and project evaluation
      £17,813 Operational overheads Central services, IT and infrastructure

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    John Lyons Charity £24,000 Guaranteed
    William Shelton Education Charity £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    St James's council Ward profile, where the Centre is based, shows that 62% of children aged less than 11 yrs in 2014 were failing to achieve a good level of development.

    Last term, within a homework club of 20 children, at least 2 were confirmed as living in households where domestic violence is present, 5 had suspected learning difficulties and 3 were living in overcrowded conditions. None of the families had access to an outdoor or separate play space at home for their children.


    Children from low income households and their parents.

    Children with low attainment at school, and with other developmental concerns

    Children and their parents who are from badly housed households including those living in temporary or hostel accommodation

    Children from households with language needs in addition to those where English is their first language.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are a trusted childcare provider with over 30 years’ experience supporting local families, developing provisions according to the major needs identified through communication with the community we serve.

    We have a committed team of staff and volunteers who in 2015 helped 29 children achieve their age related development targets through our early year’s provision in addition to supporting the development of 90 school aged children who attended our successful Easter and summer sessions

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jan Cleaver

    Jan has been working with local families at the Centre for over 7 years and has qualifications in child care and family learning.


could pay for learning resources at homework club, after school club and Saturday family fun.

Children are at their best when they have choice and freedom to choose what they want to do: it's when they're at their most confident and creative. Even with our planned craft sessions, the resources can be used flexibly. Many of the activities were open ended and open to interpretation.

Rachel Kent, Family Support Worker at Cardinal Hume Centre