Helping children in Kensington and Chelsea


When school children in Kensington & Chelsea are asked to write about what they did during the summer holidays this year, they’ll have so many stories to tell, their teachers will be amazed.

It’s all thanks to John Lyon’s Charity which has committed £375,000 from its School Holiday Activity Fund (SHAF) to support activities for children and young people in nine London boroughs. Kensington & Chelsea will receive £55,797 for children’s projects throughout the summer holidays.

The Charity’s Chief Executive, Dr Lynne Guyton, says:
“We are not embarrassed to say that we call the SHAF our ‘FUN’ fund.  It is about funding projects that allow children and young people the opportunity to do something exciting, entertaining but also to relax and learn through play.”
For many families, the long summer holiday is not filled with day trips, or fun and the financial strain of feeding and keeping children entertained is a real day-to-day challenge. John Lyon’s Charity believes its funding will relieve holiday “activity hunger” by helping local groups and organisations to run a range of activities and programmes during school holidays. Most of these will be free to those who attend. This year, more than 70 organisations are benefiting from John Lyon’s Charity holiday funding.

One of the groups being supported in Kensington & Chelsea is Baraka Community Association (BCA), that works to support migrant communities of Somalian origin and those from East Africa. This summer, BCA will run a six-week summer holiday programme of accredited equestrian activities, yoga and personal development. Up to 12 young people will participate for the full six weeks, with the project particularly targeting those who are at risk of criminal activity or being a victim of crime. Each young person will receive an hour of horse-riding lessons, four hours of equestrian management and two hours of yoga each week, working towards the British Horse Society Achievement Award.  John Lyon’s Charity has awarded a grant of £4,000 to cover the costs of project.

Executive Director of Baraka Community Association, Abdullahi Ali, believes the project has the potential to reach at risk young people at a critical point in their lives:
“The young people will experience the powerful impact that horses can have on people and the unique development of life-skills which can help them for the rest of their lives. Using horses as the inspiration for change, the project provides an alternative learning environment, improves the confidence of vulnerable young people and raises their self-esteem.”

Anyone who wants to find out more about the children and young people’s projects and programmes being funded by John Lyon’s Charity in Kensington & Chelsea this summer should contact Anna Hoddinott on 0207 259 1704.