Chances for Children Campaign

We all know these are particularly tough times for many children and families in the UK and with the Institute for Fiscal Studies projecting that relative child poverty will rise by a staggering 50% by 2020*, the situation looks only to be getting worse. 

Buttle UK are launching the Chances for Children campaign to raise £10 million over the next 5 years to distribute highly targeted life-changing grants to help some of the UK’s most vulnerable children, with the longer term aim of raising £20 million. 

The Chances for Children campaign will offer a transformational grant programme giving 35,000 of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people a chance to unlock their potential. This could be anything from a bed for a child who has had to sleep on the floor, to travel costs and a laptop so a homeless teenager can start their first college course.

Things that can change a life forever.

Key facts: 

  • Grants averaging £1,500, will provide emergency essentials as well as critical longer-term emotional and practical help

  • Grants are given via an established expert network of local support workers, which include teachers, social workers, GPs, other charities and community organisations

  • We have piloted this approach and recently published our Turning Points Report (2016) providing evidence that targeted grants of around £1,500 provide a springboard for change

The aim is to move a child beyond a crisis and create a turning point

The Need:

  • The number of children in the UK living in poverty has risen by 200,000 in the past year and given is predicted to get worse.
  • Living without the basic everyday essentials that others take for granted can shatter a child’s or young person’s self esteem.
  • Many of these families also experience domestic abuse, homelessness, addiction and illness  

There is a ripple effect of not having basic household items. If a child doesn’t have a bed they are constantly tired at school so perform less well. It also makes bed time routines hard to manage and that makes everyone in the family more stressed. But they are also ashamed, this means they never invite any friends home, which increases isolation and reduces self esteem

- Chances for Children Caseworker

The Solution: 

Grants provide basic emergency essentials such as:

  • Children’s beds and bedding
  • A cooker, washing machine or fridge

And longer term practical and emotional help, such as:

  • Educational support
  • School uniform
  • Books
  • A computer
  • After school & social activities
  • Therapy or counselling

Bev's story: Bev has had a difficult life but becoming a grandmother was a turning point. She realised she had never been a parent to her own children, and her daughter was making the same mistakes as her. On Christmas Day she found herself being the full-time carer of her three grandchildren. Things were tough, but crisis struck when her fridge broke. Someone suggested an application to Buttle UK, but we wanted to do more than provide a fridge....

Boxing came like a rubber ring you throw to someone in the ocean when they're drowning.

- Bev

Chances for Children campaign Film

The Chances for Children grant programmes:

1) Families in Crisis – £5 million

These are families on low incomes who are facing a range of other challenging circumstances such as homelessness, physical or mental health issues or addiction. The children may be struggling at school. These are issues many families face at one time or another but the lack of adequate income makes them much more difficult to cope with. Many are isolated, lacking a strong social support network to help them.

2) Families Escaping Domestic Abuse – £2.5 million

Many of these families have the same issues as the families in crisis but the overriding issue they are facing is domestic abuse. They will be at a point when they are moving into safe accommodation. Often the needs of the children in these situations can be overlooked. 

3) Homeless Young People  – £2.5 million

These are children and young people, aged between 16-20, who do not have any family support. Most are homeless and many have suffered from abuse, but most are amazingly resilient and determined to succeed. 

The Impact - a small gift creating a big change:

In August 2016 we teamed up with Development Economics to produce the Turning Points Report. This demonstrated that these small but targeted grants can transform children's lives by:

  • Protecting children’s physical and mental health
  • Preventing children going into care
  • Helping families escape domestic abuse
  • Supporting children’s education
  • Preventing homelessness and helping children avoid substance misuse and crime 

Our analysis shows that a £20 million investment in targeted, timely intervention grants could mean collectively the people we support could be better off by £37 million over the course of 15 years. Therefore £20 million is our ultimate goal but we are aiming for £10 million in the first phase of the campaign.  

All administration costs are covered so you can give knowing that 100% of your gift will go directly to the children you have chosen to support. 

Read more about our campaign in our newsletter, here: 




The Chances for Children campaign Board

Jill Dinsmore (Acting Chair)

Simon ffitch

Professor Caroline Gipps 

Christina Sorensen Lötter

Guy Paterson 

Gerri McAndrew - CEO, Buttle UK

Richard Barron - Fundraising Director, Buttle UK 

For more information about how you can help, contact Richard Barron, Director of Fundraising and Marketing, on 020 7798 6226 or




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