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Lent Appeal 2008  

This year we're supporting two charities:

  • The Children's Trust Tadworth, Surrey.  A national charity for children with multiple disabilities.

  • LAMP (Luton Accommodation and Move-on Project) which provides a house for young homeless people near the town centre.

The Children's Trust

The Childrenís Trust is a national charity working with children who have multiple disabilities and complex health needs. It's based at a 24 acre site in Tadworth, Surrey, but offers its services to children from across the UK.

From 1927 until 1983, their site at Tadworth Court was the country branch of Great Ormond Street Childrenís Hospital. In 1984, the Department of Health transferred management control to the newly created charity The Childrenís Trust.

The Trust offers a unique combination of skills and experience in meeting the complex needs of children with profound disabilities.

Their services comprise:

  • Short, medium and long term residential care and therapy
  • Rehabilitation for children with an acquired brain injury 
  • Short breaks (either at their site in Tadworth or in the family home) 
  • Hospice / palliative care 
  • Ventilatory dependent care 
  • Education, care and therapy for children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities at St Margaretís School. 

The Trust has an unparalleled reputation in its field thanks to its commitment to meeting the diverse needs of these children and their families, coupled with its ability to deliver the best possible combination of nursing, therapy, medical and educational care.

The Trust's great fundraising challenge for 2008 is to raise just over £7 million to build a new national rehabilitation centre for children with acquired brain injuries.

The good news is that they are over half-way with an amazing £3.9 million already raised and construction work has recently started. However, they still have a way to go to reach the £7 million required.

For further details, please visit the Trust's website (opens in new window).


Luton Accommodation & Move-on Project Ltd (LAMP) is a Christian charity whose principle activity is the provision of accommodation, support and advice to young people aged 16 to 25, about issues of homelessness and to develop their skills of independent living.

Since LAMP was conceived in 1995 they have helped over 3,000 young people with information, advice, support and most importantly housing.

Over the last year LAMP has:

  • Worked with over 650 homeless young people in the Luton area,
  • Helped over 90% of the homeless teenagers who approached them to find permanent accommodation,
  • Helped 3 out of 4 homeless teenagers who approached them for help find paid employment within 12 months,
  • Helped find accommodation for over 85% of all the homeless young adults 18-25 years who came to them,
  • Spoken to almost 2,000 young people about the realities of homelessness,
  • Had over 3,400 contacts with young people,
  • Gained 114 new clients,
  • Enabled 135 clients to move on from its service.

Resettlement Work

LAMP works with local Landlords to offer supported housing to young people.  To be considered for accommodation with LAMP involves an initial assessment to explore a clientís housing needs and options and discussing the life skills our clients want to develop. To achieve these goals, one-to-one support and guidance is offered by our trained Personal Advisors.

Over the last 13 years LAMP has developed a range of services that include:

  • Settling young people into both short and long term accommodation,
  • Providing support for independent living skills (cooking, cleaning, budgeting),
  • Managing a Floating Support Scheme of 12 private supported houses,
  • Providing support for young peopleís training and employment needs.

LAMP works with young people who:

  • Have been in prison,
  • Have been abused - physically, emotionally or sexually,
  • Have addictions or mental health issues,
  • Are excluded or isolated,
  • Are from Refuges or are Asylum seekers,
  • Have witnessed domestic violence,
  • May have lived in care and so on.

A comment from one our clients, who has since moved into his own accommodation, and is now settled in a secure job and now has started a family of his own:  

  • ďLAMPís staff were always really kind to me and always there to confide in.  They not only gave me advice but also helped me achieve my personal goals.  Without LAMPís support I donít know what Iíd have been doingÖĒ  

Prevention Work

LAMP is currently the only organisation that runs Homelessness Prevention Workshops for children and young people in Lutonís schools and sixth form colleges.  The focus of each session is to present the hard realities of being homeless and to inform and educate about how young people can leave home successfully and make a safe transition to independence. 

The Prevention team have developed an Education Pack, designed to create an understanding of what homelessness is and an awareness of how to avoid it.  The pack can be presented by its dedicated Homelessness Prevention Advisors through workshops to any school, college, youth club or community group in Luton who may request it.  The workshops also link into the national curriculum requirements for Personal, Health, Social and Citizenship Education (PHSCE). 

Last year, LAMP visited 8 schools. Over 700 children and young people experienced a LAMP workshop. Many of the schools in which LAMP works are in areas such as Biscot, Dallow and Sundon Park, which are among the 10% most deprived in the country. 

LAMP believes that the solutions to youth homelessness in Luton lie not just in providing direct services to those young people who have become homeless but in also reaching out to those young people most at-risk of becoming homeless. This will help LAMPís clients to build the knowledge and skills they need to make a safe transition to independence.   

LAMP is also a young person centred organisation.  The content of its preventative workshops is shaped by the actual experiences of homeless young people.   One of its Homeless Prevention Advisors was himself homeless and is able to bring the realities of his experiences into the classroom. 

The Financial Costs

LAMP is a small charity and aims to raise as much as it can from the local community. To expand its work in local schools and to continue to offer this vital support service, it needs to raise £6,000 pounds a month.

With LAMPís Christian foundation, its staff operate from a Christian ethos to bring a non-judgemental approach to its work with young people. LAMP affirms its commitment to work responsibly in the context of other faiths and those with none.

For further details, please visit Lamp's website (opens in new window).

Editor's Note

A total of £1,100 was raised for this year's Lent Appeal.  This was split equally between both charities.  The CARE Committee would like to thank everyone who supported them. 

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