A charity perspective on First Give: Tottenham charity Kith and Kids

The Kith and Kids team, with Rob (top right)

“A small charity like ours really appreciates what these students have done for us”

Kith & Kids provides activities, opportunities and support for adults with learning disabilities and autism. They were founded by a small group of parents who wanted to provide opportunities for their children. We spoke to Rob from Kith & Kids, who explained that “Everyone who comes here is part of a club enjoying being together and being part of a community.”

Kith & Kids operate from a small office in Tottenham. They provide support for families of disabled people and run day time groups for disabled people to learn life skills. Rob works on the delivery of Social Development Projects, that run 3 times a year and last between 5 and 10 days, where 20 beneficiaries take part in activities and workshops to improve their social skills and independence.

The charity relies mainly on volunteers and donations, and struggles with funding.

 “We receive no government funding and are really feeling the squeeze - fundraising is a real problem for us.”

Kith & Kids were called by Hanne, Grace, Freya and Hana from Alexandra Park School in Haringey as part of the First Give programme– the students had researched local charities helping people with learning disabilities and had chosen to support Kith & Kids. The students asked to attend one of the Projects to learn more about what they do. They spent several hours at the Project interacting with the members and participating in the activities such as drama, art, music and massage. 

“First Give has given them the opportunity to broaden their horizons”

The students then spent the next couple of weeks working hard to make a professional presentation about Kith & Kids to show why they deserved a £1,000 grant.  They were provided with ongoing support by the charity, which sent the students information such as case studies to help them. The students were able to speak about the work of the charity in depth and had made a home-made video to support their case.

“Please don’t worry if you don’t win, what you have done is absolutely brilliant”

Rob attended the First Give Final at Alexandra Park School on 26th January to support the students. He was very aware that he didn’t want the students to feel any pressure, even though he himself was nervous!

“Their presentation was so fantastic; I just cannot believe they did that at 13 years old. It’s great that on the First Give programme, young people are supported to make a difference and talk publicly about what they care about now – they don’t have to wait until later in life.”

“It was a brilliant moment”

There was a big shout and fist bump from Rob when Kith & Kids were announced the winners of £1,000. Rob immediately got on the stage to congratulate the students and pose for photos with the big cheque. “I just couldn’t believe it – I mean I could because their presentation was great, but I didn’t expect it.”

The money will go between the Projects and general running costs. “The fact that it is an unrestricted donation is so helpful for small charities – we can move it around where it is needed. £1,000 will make a huge difference to us.”

“It is important that young people support the charity sector”

With First Give operating in 140 schools across the Greater London area including Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, small charities like Kith & Kids can expect to be supported by more young people on the programme over the upcoming years. The programme at Alexandra Park School is funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation.

 “We look forward to continuing to engage with this brilliant group of young people and also hearing from other young people on the First Give programme!”