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Charity of the month: Hertfordshire Charity for Deprived Children

PUBLISHED: 06:00 25 August 2016

The charity aims to give children the things we often take for granted - like a bed (Photo: Natalia Leb)

The charity aims to give children the things we often take for granted - like a bed (Photo: Natalia Leb)

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Hertfordshire Charity for Deprived Children is an aid-giver of last resort for families in real need in the county, giving small grants that can make a big difference

Hundreds of disadvantaged children have received help from Hertfordshire Charity for Deprived Children for the ‘little’ things many of us take for granted.

It was established to award small grants to the most disadvantaged children living in Hertfordshire. Set up in 1961, it was given a generation donation of £1,000 by a Miss C. Watson and was managed, like today, by volunteers.

‘In the early days the charity provided help with the expenses of holidays and Christmas treats, whereas now it focuses increasingly on essentials such as a bed and bedding for a child,’ volunteer Diane Hanlon explains.

The average grant is about £120 per child with around 100 children benefiting directly each year. Hanlon says the items or services bought have a direct positive impact on whole families.

‘All money received by the charity goes as grants to children who are the most disadvantaged and most in need. The charity has no overheads; for example all stationery and postage costs are met by volunteers,’ she says. ‘By volunteering for the charity, I hope children will be helped to feel more safe and secure both in their home environments and in their relationships with others.

‘I have seen where even a small amount of money can make a difference to a child’s life. For example, we received an application to cover the costs for swimming lessons for siblings to help them cope after living with domestic violence. The support worker helping the family told us she had been working with children affected by domestic violence for years and always found swimming has great therapeutic effects on children. It helps them to relax, feelings are more contained and they can enjoy themselves.’

Hanlon recounts positive responses from families supported by the charity: ‘One grant recipient said, “When my son saw what he received from the charity his expression was beautiful. It’s a memory that will be forever etched in my mind”. Another said, “To see how they help kids and parents has helped me to realise there are good people out there. I will be forever grateful to them”.’

The charity aims to support those who have pursued all other local and specialist resources without success. This means it can ensure help is targeted where it is genuinely needed. Each grant request is looked at on an individual basis and the charity helps as many children as the funds allow.

Grant applications are considered only from agencies working on behalf of a child, such as a social worker, health visitor, housing officer or community worker. If you work in such a role and would like to apply for a grant on behalf of a child, visit the website mgtact0.wix.com/herts-charity-child to download an application form.

Hertfordshire Charity for Deprived Children is always in need of funds. Donations can be made online at justgiving.com/hcdc or via Diane Hanlon at dianehh@ntlworld.com

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