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Spotlight Interview with BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme

4in10 spotlight blog – BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme

London Challenge Poverty Week 16th to 22nd October 2023


How are you helping tackle child poverty in London?

The UK-wide BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme helps tackle child poverty in London by providing essential grants to vulnerable children and young people in crisis, right across the city.

BBC Children in Need believe every child and young person deserves the opportunity to thrive and be the best they can be.. Delivered by the team at Family Fund Business Services, the Emergency Essentials programme provides items that meet a child’s most basic needs, such as a bed to sleep in, a cooker to provide a hot meal and other items critical to a child’s wellbeing. Our dedicated suppliers work hard to get grant items out quickly to families. Everything is taken care of from – delivery, installation/build (furniture) to recycling of old white good appliances.

We aim to alleviate the pressures associated with furniture poverty and the wider impact on a child or young person’s wellbeing. Growing up in poverty brings additional educational and health challenges, leading to significantly diminished life chances.

For any parent or carer, knowing your child will have a safe, comfortable night’s sleep or being able to prepare a warm meal for them and wash their clothes for school the next day, reduces parental stress and helps build better family relationships.

We work in partnership with BBC Children in Need to deliver this programme but we can only reach our goals with the support of our dedicated network of Emergency Essentials Referrers so a big thank you to them.


Tell us something you are excited about?

We’re excited about supporting BBC Children in Need’s ‘Positive Relationships’ campaign which celebrates the power of positive relationships, and the impact of these relationships in helping to support children and young people.

We’re also excited to be part of London Challenge Poverty Week 2023, to raise better awareness of the many challenges disadvantaged children in London face It’s clear we all have a crucial role to play as we enter difficult winter months and the next phase of the cost-of-living crisis. As history teaches us, ‘alone we can do so little, together we can do so much’.

We look forward to forging lasting relationships with other 4in10 members driving this work in London.


Share with our members something positive about your organisation’s achievement or service?

Since launching the programme in June 2018, the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme has supported 140,000 children and young people. We have distributed over £20million to directly support the needs of children and young people in poverty across the UK.

We have around 4000 active referrers making applications to the programme at any one time and the programme received 80,000 applications and fulfilled over 100,000 items in the first five years of delivery (we’re now in our sixth year).

Our service has a quick turnaround time for decision with an average turnaround time of 5-7 days.


What can other network members learn from you or find out more about, through you?

By connecting with the partnerships team, other network members can learn about the individual grants provided by the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme, as well as the wider grants that Family Fund provides for families raising seriously ill and disabled children (the partnerships team are employed by Family Fund as a dedicated resource for the Emergency Essentials Programme).

We have a growing network of referrers regularly accessing emergency essentials grants for the children and young people they are supporting across London. Referrers often comment about the simple application process and quick turnaround times for decisions:

“The Emergency Essentials Programme is really good, and quick and easy to do.  For me it’s fantastic and means my time is not taken away from families or the children who need me, the response is quick and the delivery options for the family are amazing.  The online application is easy to use, and the families really need the help.” (Emergency Essentials Referrer)

We encourage network members to reach out and connect with the partnerships team to find out more about our free training sessions and webinars, which can be tailored to your organisation’s needs.

Please email cinpartnerships@familyfundservices.co.uk for more information.


What would most help you achieve your goals?

Put simply, to achieve our main goal of- helping more children and young people in London we need to form even more new partnerships and gain more registered referrers locally.

As a team we are supportive, connected, passionate and determined. These values are echoed in the partnerships and relationships we maintain across the programme.

The BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials programme is referrer-led and is shaped by the voices of our referrers. We encourage them to take part in regular topic-based forums, coffee and connect sessions and surveys. We always welcome feedback in any form and recognise the ever-changing needs of children and young people. It’s through these engagement mechanisms that we ensure our offer remains relevant at the time of delivery.


Why did you join 4in10? What do you enjoy about being part of the 4in10 network?

We were completely hooked after attending our first event hosted by 4in10 during the pandemic. It was clear we needed to be part of this dynamic network and movement for change.

Crucially, we love being able to connect with other likeminded people who are dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people growing up in poverty.