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IICF Week of Giving: A Refreshed Refuge

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How KidsOut and IICF work together to improve the lives of children in need.

In the UK alone, more than 20,000 children flee domestic violence to the safety of a women’s refuge every year. These children share histories littered with poverty, emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Coming to the aid of these children, KidsOut was established in 1999 providing toys and fun experiences to this disadvantaged group with the goal of reminding them what it is like to be a kid and have fun.

Known as the “Fun & Happiness Charity,” KidsOut’s core mission is to give disadvantaged children positive experiences to support them as they grow into future members of our society and workforce. KidsOut’s small team works with thousands of volunteers across the UK to improve the lives of more than 70,000 disadvantaged children each year through programs like National Rotary KidsOut Day, Fun Days, Toy Boxes and Phyzzod.

KidsOut supports children from a range of backgrounds and is the only national charity in the UK that focuses on the needs of children in refuge. We work with every Women’s Aid refuge in the UK to have toy boxes waiting for children as they arrive in refuge, and to arrange for fun experiences.

Like many nonprofits, KidsOut’s financial security has been threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the charity losing upward of £800,000 from cancelled fundraising events. These events make up more than 50 percent of KidsOut’s cash income and this loss has the potential to devastate our children’s services. KidsOut is dependent on external funding from charitable trusts and foundations, such as the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), to make up for this loss and to provide further relief for families living in refuge.

In 2020, KidsOut received a generous grant from the IICF, which enabled us to provide 188 boxes of brand-new toys for children living in refuges across the UK at Christmas.

The IICF has been a fantastic supporter of KidsOut for several years, particularly through its annual ‘Week of Giving’ and support of our annual Giving Tree appeal.

In 2020, KidsOut received a generous grant from the IICF, which enabled us to provide 188 boxes of brand-new toys for children living in refuges across the UK at Christmas. Christmas is tough for families in refuge, both emotionally and financially, and the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the trauma associated with fleeing domestic abuse. The IICF’s donation meant we were able to deliver more toy boxes to new children entering refuge, many of whom had never received a gift at Christmas.

For Week of Giving 2021, the IICF is working with KidsOut and a team of volunteers to create a DIY Refuge Makeover for refuge housing in need of a refresh. Volunteers will tackle worn down gardens and indoor and outdoor play areas, transforming them into updated safe environments to relax with peers.

The Mental Health Foundation lists taking part in local activities and having time and freedom to play as ways to help keep children mentally well. Enhanced inclusion, good mental health and developed social skills are essential in increasing a child’s access to educational and professional opportunities in the future, strengthening their opportunity for social mobility.

This Week of Giving, we hope you’ll join us and the IICF to bring smiles to the faces of refuge children across the UK. To learn more, please visit www.kidsout.org.uk.

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