A look to the future Deborah Welham - Chairman ___________________________________________ It’s easy to get despondent about our society. Look at any newspaper and you’ll see knife crime, drugs, violence – a host of problems. Reedham’s office is in Croydon, a deprived London borough with 25% of children in poverty, so we see it at first-hand. But in our work with vulnerable young people, we don’t just see the problems. Often we see something quite different. We see children with difficult lives but with dreams of a brighter future. We see young people wanting to make a better life and a better world - who just need a chance to realise their potential. Reedham has spent 175 years helping vulnerable children. We believe every child deserves the chance to thrive, and to look forward to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. When young people receive the right support, family problems and disadvantage needn’t continue through the generations – that cycle of deprivation CAN be broken. Education is at the core of Reedham's work, offering one of the strongest routes out of poverty. For forty years we’ve funded places at nurturing boarding schools, for vulnerable children whose particular circumstances meant this could help them. This intervention aimed to tackle three of the main issues they face: Somewhere to be – somewhere safe and away from a difficult home environment or neighbourhood - where they are engaged, valued, and encouraged. Education - in the sense of academic success - to open the door to a brighter future. Education in its wider sense – expanding horizons, and learning confidence, leadership, and resilience. We believe that addressing these three key issues is fundamental – and that we can help more vulnerable children by focusing on support and opportunity in the community and in local schools. Launching a new initiative In 2019 we will be expanding our work to reach many more young people through grassroots organisations and local schools. To facilitate this, we are joining our expertise with that of three ‘partner’ charities, and I am delighted to outline some details of our plans: OnSide Youth Zones is building a £6.5 million youth centre in Croydon. I’m thrilled to announce that Reedham is a supporter and a Founder Patron of this amazing resources hub, which will give young people an inspiring place to be - whether to try something new, or meet a friendly mentor. Facilities include a gym, dance and drama studio, and more. We are also supporting Reaching Higher, a great local charity creating coaching/ mentoring opportunities at grassroots. We’re also working together to develop inspirational coaching opportunities in local secondary schools. We’re developing plans too with School Home Support - a leading charity doing wonderful work in schools, supporting children facing barriers to learning. Together we plan to provide specialist practitioners for vulnerable children in local primary schools. Our new initiative will help hundreds more vulnerable children, and this year - as we reach the grand age of 175 - we aim to raise £175,000 to support it. We couldn’t do it without our supporters, and if you’re not already part of the Reedham family I urge you to join us. There are many ways to get involved, to help us reach our goals, and help give more children the chance of a brighter future.