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This month we’re speaking to Gordon Moulds, CEO of KidsOut, a national charity which gives disadvantaged children positive experiences, after fleeing domestic violence. KidsOut also support many other disadvantaged children across the UK. All of KidsOut’s help and support is funded by aided donations and fundraising.

Claritas has supported KidsOut for several years, helping to raise much-needed funds by supporting their many charitable events including sponsored challenges, black tie dinners and Christmas toy donations. Gordon, thanks for joining us and taking time out of your very busy schedule, we’re really excited to be chatting to you and getting to know more about KidsOut and the tireless work you do across the UK.

Q1: Let’s start with an easy question, but an important one nonetheless, who are KidsOut?

KidsOut is a volunteer led charity with a small team of in-house staff, but we also utilise the efforts of thousands of volunteers around the UK to help us with our cause. Our core mission is to bring fun and happiness into the lives of disadvantaged children when they need it most. Based in Bedfordshire, KidsOut provides its services all over the UK to over 70,000 children a year, mainly through the provision of Fun Days out and Toy Boxes for children in refuge.

We support children from a range of backgrounds, focusing on the needs of children in refuge who have usually escaped domestic violence. We work closely with every Women’s Aid Federation refuge located in the UK.

Q2: As a charity, how have you had to adapt during the pandemic and how can people get involved and support you?

Like many charities, KidsOut faced unprecedented challenges with the spread of Covid-19. We were forced to cancel or postpone all our fundraising events from March 2020 resulting in an estimated loss of over £1.5m net income – a huge figure for any charity to have to swallow. During this time, we have adapted by narrowing our focus to increase our support to children who had escaped serious domestic violence and had found sanctuary in a refuge. We temporarily changed our name to KidsIn and in week one of lockdown we provided £25 supermarket vouchers to families in refuge that had no access to a foodbank. Week two saw us provide a toy box to every child in refuge and week three another food voucher.

With refuge staff either furloughed or working from home, many families have been unable to leave the refuge and often arrive with nothing other than the clothes on their back, so the support KidsOut provide is absolutely essential. During lockdown, families were effectively stuck in one room and 78% had no access to a TV or computer, little wonder the feedback we received about our toy boxes was so positive!

Since April 2020 we have provided:

  • 14,589 toy boxes
  • 21,068 food vouchers
  • Offered every family in refuge cinema tickets and will have provided over 15,000 cinema tickets by the end of June.
  • 1,800 WiFi codes to refuges with no internet access for families.
  • Provided 7,500 goodie bags at Christmas and a £25 supermarket voucher to all families.

There are many ways people can get involved with KidsOut including: taking part in many sponsored activities, attending black tie events, being a corporate supporter, our Christmas Giving Tree project which provides presents for all children in December.

Q3: We’ve seen volunteering coming into its own during Covid, as people have had opportunity to dedicate more time to help others. How has KidsOut benefited from volunteering this year?

KidsOut relies heavily on volunteers and whilst the pandemic has reduced the number of companies willing to provide CSR days, KidsOut continues to have opportunities for volunteers in our London, Milton Keynes, or Luton warehouses to help audit and make up the hundreds of toy boxes.

Once restrictions allow, we need volunteers across the UK for refuge makeovers and to support taking children on a fun day out. We are always looking for support for our social media or marketing activity.

Q4: What does 2021 hold for KidsOut?

This year has been hugely successful for KidsOut thanks to many corporate supporters, including Claritas Tax, that have enabled us to provide essential support throughout this challenging time.

Looking ahead, whilst we are confident that our black-tie events will resume in the Autumn, it will remain difficult to raise funds through these events until confidence in large gatherings returns, so we will continue to be heavily reliant on corporate and individual support. We have exciting initiatives planned for the rest of 2021, including getting every child in refuge out on a fun day. We will be rolling out our internet/laptop/tablet initiative to support the education and social welfare of a child when in refuge. Remembering that half of the children in refuge will, in effect, remain in lockdown post Covid due to an abuser trying to locate and coerce them, our work to support these families continues throughout 2021 and beyond.

For more information about KidsOut please contact their Relationship Manager, Kathy Capper at Kathy.capper@kidsout.org.uk

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