Chapter two

Achieving change through direct work

Through our network of children’s centres, volunteers and targeted services, we worked with over 23,000 children and young people last year, bringing positive changes to children and families and supporting disadvantaged children up and down the country.

How many children did we reach?

We worked with 23,159 children and young people last year, providing intensive support to 14,775. Through our network of 52 targeted services we worked with 5,025 children and young people while our children’s centres, mainly for families with children under five, grew from 40 to 46. We saw 18,134 children in our centres altogether; of these, we had sustained contact with 9,750.


The number of children’s centres
we operate around
the UK


The number of children we reached
through our children’s
centres last year


The number of children and young
people we gave intensive
support to last year


The number of targeted
services we offer
in the UK

Emily’s story

When Emily’s twin died at just eight months old, her parents were devastated. One of our children’s centres was able to help.

Read the full story


per cent of people who use our centres are happy or very happy with their overall experience


per cent feel that using the children’s centre has made a lot of difference


per cent of families we worked with showed a positive change in the past year


per cent of young people we worked with showed a positive change in the past year

John’s story

‘We went to The Children’s Society’s mentoring project for help. I wanted people to see me for me, and not for the trouble I got into.’

Read the full story

Involving young people in our work

We want children and young people to have a say in our work. They tell us what matters to them, which feeds directly into our brand values, strategy, campaigns and services.

How they influence us

Last year we examined the impact of young people’s participation across The Children’s Society. Our evaluation report showed that at least 198 young people influenced organisational decisions, shaped our new brand values and played a part in strategic decisions, and 154 young people contributed to policy and campaign changes.


young people
influenced organisational decisions


young people
to policy and
campaign changes

Our young participants

‘I just feel like now, compared to how I was then, I feel so much more confident and so much more happy within myself…’

Read the full story


people supported the running of our network of almost 100 retail shops


box co-ordinators collected a massive £1.7 million in donations


volunteers directly supported vulnerable children, young people and families in our children’s centres and projects


committee members organised countless fundraising events such as coffee mornings, golf days and dinner parties

Last year, the Institute for Volunteering Research evaluated the impact of volunteering in our My Place programme in the West Midlands, which works with vulnerable young migrants between the ages of 14-21.

Read the report

Mags Robinson’s story

‘I feel volunteering empowers me in ways I would never have thought possible. Volunteering gave me my life back and gave me direction.’

Read the full story

Celebrating our volunteers

We couldn’t support so many disadvantaged children and young people without our incredible network of 11,000 volunteers.

If you’d like to volunteer for The Children’s Society,
please contact us

Volunteer sign up

Children’s voices are at the heart of what we do

We have been researching well-being since our Good Childhood Inquiry of 2005, asking thousands of young people what they think makes for a good life.


Children with low well-being are 20 times less likely to feel safe at home


Number of children since 2005 that took part in our well-being research, which is helping to improve thousands of lives

Well-being research

We have now included over 45,000 children in our well-being research, learnt a great deal about what is most important for them, and applied this knowledge and understanding when working with local authorities to help make children’s lives better.