Hertfordshire’s first Community Interest Company, CHILD UK, is acting as a catalyst for changing the lives of children through sport, fun and play with a range of positive activities that improve health and wellbeing.
Chief Executive Officer Andrew Anastasiou said, “We promote good health, provide positive role models and encourage children to have an active life in the community. We do this by providing a variety of activities such as sports, performing arts and cooking.”
Anastaiou and colleagues spent a lot of time researching the right legal structure for the organisation. “The CIC structure was very new at the time. It appealed because it had charitable objectives and it enabled us to retain control. Being a CIC has been a real benefit. We wouldn’t have got to where we are now without this structure,” he says.
CHILD UK has a range of different programmes targeting children from 6-18 years old. The Play programme is about getting people out into green areas with a range of fun activities from sports to arts and crafts, walking, biking and kite flying.
The Social Inclusion programme specifically targets the large number of children that CHILD UK works with in deprived areas in Hertfordshire. “We’re helping to reduce anti-social behaviour and youth related crime by providing positive activities for 11-18 year olds so that they have something to do and feel part of a community,” says Anastaiou.
CHILD UK works alongside a range of local partners including local councils, youth services, police, housing associations and local residents associations.
The Social Inclusion and Play programmes run with the support of funding from police, local authorities, the NHS, housing associations and Sport England, and the activities are mostly free for children.
In addition CHILD UK gets income from sports programmes that they run in schools. Any profit is put back into their community projects.
CHILD UK received the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire Award for crime reduction in 2010, and several projects have been selected by Sport England as case studies.
For the future CHILD UK hopes to replicate this success in other areas of East England. “And we’re looking to develop a foundation learning programme to give young people a basis for training and further education,” says Anastaiou. “We also want to focus more on health and how we can have an impact on obesity issues.”
“We’ll have to look at developing additional partnerships and alliances and we’ll have to grow our support staff. It’s a big challenge and it’s worth it when you see the difference we’re making to the lives of children and the improvement to our communities.”
||Welwyn Garden City, Herts
||CIC limited by shares
|Community interest statement
||The promotion of the community interest and in particular (without limitation) to promote the physical and emotional wellbeing of children.
Find out more about Child UK