How Yorkshire Children’s Charity are Helping Our Most Disadvantaged Children
A helping hand
Founded on the ideals of being a collaborative effort between themselves and the people of Yorkshire, Yorkshire Children’s Charity (YCC) is a fledgling non-profit charity with a hugely impressive reach, ready to take immediate action in safeguarding the welfare of Yorkshire’s most vulnerable children. They support children with a diverse range of disadvantages with a myriad of helpful programmes, such as wheelchair distribution, finding funding for disabled schools, and providing specialist equipment to struggling families. After working with children for the best part of a decade, Charlotte Farrington is heading up the charity as a guardian for young people, ready to help Yorkshire’s disadvantaged children.
‘Yorkshire Children’s Charity is a very new charity organisation. We’ve set ourselves out to be as accessible as possible in helping families get the support they need,’ Charlotte explains. ‘We’ve made sure we are an organisation set up entirely for our beneficiaries – everything we do is with them in mind.’
‘With a lot of charities, they focus too narrowly on “what we do” or “what we fund”,’ Charlotte continues. ‘Yorkshire Children’s Charity will be driven by the outcome. What benefit is it to the child? Does it meet our criteria to provide them with fun, relieve them of pain, and allow them to access the world around them? If it meets those outcomes, then we find a way to help and we allocate those funds. We are responsive to the unique needs of children because those needs change all the time. This is why it is important that we adapt.’
Innovation is perhaps the key factor that allows Yorkshire Children’s Charity to stand tall amongst other charity organisations that boast much larger legacies, and they use inventive methods to help disadvantaged children overcome their circumstances. One of these methods is an online portal, which hosts a step-by-step Q&A through which families can apply for help, find out their eligibility, and access an immediate relief fund within 24 hours of referral from their local school.
This bespoke piece of software allows parents to go online and access the charity’s help without the need for printing excessive documentation. They create a log-in (which they can come back and save at any point), submit their details with very simple yes or no questions, and communicate their needs to Charlotte’s brilliant team.
‘In my past experience charities would ask parents to print an application. Not only is this slow but we’re dealing with families that can’t afford to put food on the table, never mind buy printer ink cartridges,’ says Charlotte. ‘They would then have to get occupational letters from their therapists (again, in paper form), send it all in the post, then have to wait for it to be logged into the system. As a working mum of two I know how hard it is to keep on top of all that – now imagine you’re a parent of a child with severe disabilities. I just wanted something easy and beneficial for families. With YCC we can then help them there and then.’
Their ability to adapt has grown from a genuine understanding the charity has of the county’s children and the challenges they face, and the knowledge the charity has garnered to best help them as quickly as possible.
‘One third of children in Yorkshire are living in poverty, but the challenges of children change all the time. We set up a programme called The School Network, where we encourage schools in deprived areas to sign up. They’re then allocated a volunteer who manages the relationship between the school and YCC, championing the needs of that school to make us aware of how we can help them. A unique example of this is since the pandemic children haven’t had proper meals; there’s a massive problem with childhood obesity and a school may need an all-purpose running track for PE.’
The extent of the problems is huge, but Charlotte and her team greet them with a smile. Together they have created a myriad of excellent programmes such as Wheelchairs, allocating sports, all-terrain and daily chairs for impaired children; Yorkshire Big Build Project, calling on the commercial and property sector to help raise funds for special needs schools in special measures; and Specialist Equipment, allocating all manner of equipment for children with specialist needs, such as a hoist for baths.
Looking to the near future, it’s clear that Yorkshire Children’s Charity has hit the ground running, becoming a charity partner with the high profile car event The Fast Lane Car Club, and looking to hire more amazing people to help their excellent team. ‘Ultimately, the most important thing for us is that families that need our help know that we are here. Spreading the word, following us on social media, telling people about us. That is the biggest thing people can do to help. We’re in the position to do this because so many people believe in us – spread the word.’