22 Dec

Over £45,000 raised on the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2020

We are thrilled to announce the final figure raised by West London Action for Children via the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2020 is £45,167!

A huge thank you to everyone who supported us in the challenge, in what has been an unprecedented year.  Our clients have faced increasing difficulties this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and so we are especially grateful to all of our supporters for helping us to unlock and utilise all of our match funding from our Pledge Givers and from our Charity Champions The Childhood Trust, helping us to hit our fundraising target.

All money raised will go directly to providing free counselling and therapy services for local children and parents in need – supporting families to reduce feelings of isolation and increase self-confidence and resilience.

From everyone at West London Action for Children, thank you, and we wish you a happy Christmas and a bright and healthy 2021.

17 Dec

Christmas Hampers from the Junior League of London

Our enormous thanks to the Junior League of London who, despite this year’s Covid-19 restrictions, were once again able to provide over 90 Christmas Hampers for our client families.

Filled with the most wonderful array of food and beautiful gifts, the Junior League of London hampers have helped our client families feel the spirit of the holidays at a time of year that is especially difficult for so many.

We are enormously grateful to the Junior League of London who, in this particularly challenging year, have gone the extra mile to show our clients that they are not alone.

09 Dec

Christmas with Chiswick Baroque – 5 Voices a cappella

Chiswick Baroque Event
Celebrating Advent & Christmas

Sunday 13th December, 4pm

5 voices a cappella sing sacred music by Monteverdi, Arcadelt, Schein, Grieg, Maxwell Davies and Harper with carols old and new, seasonal chants and lullabies.

Sung by:
Ros Keating soprano
Gillian Pillans soprano
Shelley Smith alto
Jean-Paul Sinclair tenor
Oliver Hinton bass
directed by Celia Harper

Click here for more details, and to find out how to attend in person at Holy Innocents Church, Hammersmith

Or click here to watch live on your phone for free via Instagram.  Simply follow WLAC, and a live video will appear on the ‘stories’ section at the top of your Instagram feed at 4pm on Sunday 13th December.

In Aid of West London Action for Children

01 Dec

Big Give Christmas Challenge 2020

West London Action for Children are thrilled to be taking part in this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge match funding campaign. This vital fundraising campaign comes at the end of a difficult year for so many of our local families.

Between midday on Tuesday the 1st – midday on Tuesday 8th December, we are hoping to raise up to £40,000 through the campaign, where donations from supporters are matched by our charity champions, The Childhood Trust, and our generous pledge givers.

Help us to hit our target by clicking here to double your donation during the campaign dates. Your kind donations will allow us to continue to offer free counselling and therapy services to local children, young people and families.

THANK YOU

22 Oct

Zoom Quiz success – over £4,300 raised!

Thank you to everyone who took part in our first Zoom WLAC Annual Quiz, and helped to raise £4,345 for WLAC!

With Covid restrictions in place, the Brook Green Events Group set about recreating the famous WLAC Annual Quiz online. With an array of brain-tickling questions, seamless switches to breakout rooms, and even a Supper slot factored in, the evening was full of fun and gave a real sense of being back in the St Paul’s hall with team-mates. What a treat!

Congratulations to our worthy winners, The Ravenscourt Parkas, and thank you again to all of our guests who joined us online for the evening.

Our enormous thanks go to Isabel, Brian, Emma, Gilly and Vicky of the Brook Green Events Group for masterminding the evening; quizmaster extraordinaire Jon, who this year not only kept guests entertained with questions ranging from the sublime to the cryptic, but also provided Supper orders; Lydia from Bective for all of her hard work and mental arithmetics with the score-keeping on the night, and to everyone at Bective for continuing to support WLAC in this way. 

We look forward to seeing you all next year, whether it be in person or on Zoom!

05 Oct

What it means to be vulnerable

Being vulnerable means ‘being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally’. It is part of being human. 

When we describe our clients as vulnerable, we mean that their circumstances are putting them at a high risk of immediate harm as well as having a detrimental impact on their later life outcomes.

The Children’s Commissioner has found that there are over 2 million children in England living in families with substantial complex needs, and that of those 1.6 million have no established, recognised form of additional support. The reasons are wide-ranging but the Children’s Commissioner has identified a ‘toxic trio’ of factors that often dominate; alcohol/substance misuse, domestic abuse and mental health problems.

The COVID-19 crisis is heightening uncertainty and anxiety, particularly for those whose home environments were already fragile. It has also had a destabilising effect for many families who were not previously known to social services.

Each family’s situation is unique. At WLAC, we listen to each story and tailor our support to meet the particular needs of each client. We know that by working with them at the earliest opportunity, before they reach crisis point, we can support them to more positively face the challenges in their lives.

30 Sep

Dads Matter

Our group-work was put on hold at the start of lockdown as we considered the logistics and safeguarding implications around working on line.  We worked hard to put in place appropriate measures to ensure client safety and optimise benefit, adapting our programmes to suit an on-line setting.  We were delighted to successfully trial an online Mindfulness group for 8 clients during the Summer term and are currently mid-way through running an online Dads Matter group for 5 fathers. 

Why Dads Matter 

We know that fathers are experiencing many of the same difficulties faced by mothers during lockdown: fear and worry around the physical effects of Covid-19 on them, their children and loved ones, and the practical challenges of managing day to day, as well as anxiety about the future. 

We also recognise that men are facing particular challenges, many exacerbated by Covid-19, relating to both their role within the family set-up, as well as their sense of identity: men’s social networks and emotional support systems are often smaller than women’s, and many of the ways that men traditionally socialise are currently restricted or banned, creating heightened feelings of isolation; where a male may be the primary source of income for a family, the economic uncertainty of lockdown has increased financial pressures and anxieties, and this may impact their family relationships; and where a father is a non-resident parent there may be difficulties gaining access to children, as fears are elevated around introducing those from ‘outside’ into a bubble.   

Our online Dads Matter group is providing a space for fathers who are struggling with some, many or all of these issues.  The group, run by 2 of our highly-trained and experienced facilitators, gives a space for fathers, step-fathers and male carers of children to discuss the challenges of being a Dad and what it means to be a father today.  It gives a space for fathers to support each other – to talk about parenting issues such as setting limits, getting cooperation, keeping cool and building memories, with a common understanding of the added emotional and logistical difficulties that Covid-19 has added to the equation.  It is as important now, if not more so, for fathers to be provided with such a space.

30 Sep

Summer Series Success! Missed any Talks? Catch up here…

We were thrilled to have played host to so many fantastic speakers and presenters throughout our Summer Series of Talks.  Discussing topics as varied as The Future of our Children, to Poetry and Prejudice, and from The Importance of Vitamin D to The Virtues of Gardening for Children, our speakers enthralled and enraptured with their extensive knowledge and vast experience in their respective fields. 

Our huge thanks go to Anthony Costello, Alan Johnson, Eleanor Mills, Baroness Blower, Benjamin Zephaniah, Adrian Martineau and Anne Longfield, and to our wonderful interviewers Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Laurence Guinness, Rajan Datar, and Katie Razzall.

If you missed any of our speakers, you can catch up with all the talks on our Youtube channel by clicking HERE.  There, you’ll be able to hear:

Anthony Costello talking about the longer-term consequences of Covid-19 for child health globally, and the threats from climate change and commercial exploitation

Alan Johnson talking about his love of music, books and football (with a bit of politics thrown in)

Eleanor Mills discussing some of the highlights of her career as a journalist, editor and campaigner, and how she used story-telling to raise funds and awareness for important causes

Christine Blower discussing the virtues of education and gardening and the extent to which children in urban and suburban environments are cut off from the natural world

Benjamin Zephaniah telling us about his remarkable journey from leaving school at 13 years old to becoming one of the most respected poets of his generation

Adrian Martineau explaining how vitamin D has played a key role in immune function for centuries, and examining its potential role in the fight against COVID-19.

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, talking about how children in general and vulnerable children in particular are being affected by Covid-19 and the need for a ‘Nightingale scale’ intervention

30 Sep

A mighty Thank you to Fulham School – nearly £16,000 raised for WLAC

A huge thank you and congratulations to the pupils, staff and parents from Fulham School, who raised an amazing £6,611 through their Fun Run on the 4th July. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions the Family Fun Run was turned into a virtual event, whereby members of the school community could go for a walk/run as a family and log the distance covered.    The Challenge of covering the distance from John O’Groats to Lands End was taken up with gusto and, 1,635.7 miles later, the school community had collectively covered the distance, and almost back again, by foot! 

The date also gave families an opportunity to wear US-themed fancy dress as a nod to Independence Day – a theme which participants fully embraced, including Head of Prep School’s Mr Lunnon, who covered 5km in a full Batman costume.  All funds raised through the Virtual Fun Run have been split equally between WLAC and another locally based charity, The Smile Brigade. 

This generous donation forms part of Fulham School’s ongoing support for WLAC which, though the Academic Year 19-20, has amounted to nearly £16,000.  Our enormous thanks to the pupils, teachers, senior management team and Parent Body for their ongoing support.

21 Sep

Missed any of our Summer Series of Talks? You can catch up here….

We are delighted to say that our Summer Series of Talks has been a great success thus far, with 6 fantastic speakers giving audiences a fascinating insight into a wide variety of topics.

If you’ve missed any of our speakers, you can catch up with all the talks at our Youtube channel by clicking HERE.  There, you’ll be able to hear:

  • Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, talking about how children in general and vulnerable children in particular are being affected by Covid-19 and the need for a ‘Nightingale scale’ intervention
  • Anthony Costello talking about the longer-term consequences of Covid-19 for child health globally, and the threats from climate change and commercial exploitation
  • Alan Johnson talking about his love of music, books and football (with a bit of politics thrown in)
  • Eleanor Mills discussing some of the highlights of her career as a journalist, editor and campaigner, and how she used story-telling to raise funds and awareness for important causes
  • Christine Blower discussing the virtues of education and gardening and the extent to which children in urban and suburban environments are cut off from the natural world
  • Benjamin Zephaniah telling us about his remarkable journey from leaving school at 13 years old to becoming one of the most respected poets of his generation
  • Adrian Martineau explaining how vitamin D has played a key role in immune function for centuries, and examining its potential role in the fight against COVID-19.