For every £1 we spend, 87p helps children and families

One in five children live in families who find it a constant struggle to buy food and other essentials

It’s hard for your imagination to shine when all you can think about is how hungry you are. Children are missing out on meals, sharing beds with their siblings and wearing clothes that don’t fit them. It’s heart-breaking to know there are over four million children in the UK living like this.

These things don’t just stop children’s stars from shining right now – they can have a lifelong impact. Because it’s hard to grow, learn and fulfil your potential when you’re hungry or cold, scared or alone.

With your help, right now, we can make sure children have the basics – the things every child needs, like warm clothes and proper meals. And the things that help them reach for the stars, like tutoring and fun activities to stop them missing out.

Supporting vulnerable children is more important than ever.

Thanks to the support of people like you, emergency funding has paid for:

Items purchased through the Emergency Fund

Items purchased through the Coronavirus Emergency Fund

More about our work

We protect and support children and young people. We do this by providing practical and emotional care and support. We make sure their voices are heard. And we campaign to bring lasting improvements to their lives.

Today, we run 512 services in local communities across the UK, in schools and online.

In our nurseries and children's centres, staff make sure children get the best start in life. Our foster, adoptive and modern residential services find children and young people safe and loving homes.

We step in to protect children from neglect and abuse and help those who care for others or are at risk of homelessness. Innovative projects like The Blues Programme give young people the help they need to look after their mental health.

We're also here for parents, through projects like Parent Talk, our online support service.

We’ve been helping children for more than 150 years. In 2020/21 we helped 604,885 children, young people and families. This was only possible with your support.

  • Since 1861 we’ve helped more than two million children and young people.
  • We’ve helped more than 20,000 children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. We've kept 99% of our local services open.
  • 189,000: the number of people reached with mental health support in 2020/21.
  • 361,000: the number of people reached by our online parenting advice service, Parent Talk, in 2020/21.

Your donations help us to support vulnerable children, young people and their families in the UK.

87p of every £1* we spend goes directly towards helping children, young people and their families. Your support is so important right now because levels of financial hardship, abuse and neglect have been rising. We’ve seen a huge surge in demand for our services. Your donations help us to run these essential services, which give vulnerable children and families a vital lifeline.

We make sure that every penny you donate goes where it will have the greatest impact on children’s lives.

Most of the donations we receive from our campaigns are unrestricted. This means they’re not spent on one project or one specific area of the UK, but where the need is greatest. We wouldn’t be able to operate as a charity without this type of income. Unrestricted funds help us reach the children and young people who need us most. Funds raised from this appeal will be unrestricted and used by Action for Children for its general charitable purposes. Please see the Our Work and Impact for examples of the work we do to help children and young people and their families.

* Figure based on audited 2020/21 charity accounts that exclude subsidiary companies like commercial nurseries

Donating a small amount every month by direct debit helps us give vulnerable children the stability they need. Our regular supporters help us carry out long-term work and keep vital projects running.

Other ways to donate

  • Prefer to donate over the phone?

    Call 0300 123 2112
  • Save time and text to donate (terms and conditions apply)

    Text CHILDREN to 70175 to donate £5 now
  • Where your money goes and other donation FAQs

    Read our FAQs