Spotlight on 4in10 Member Whizz-kids


How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

We work to support young wheelchair users through 3 main strategies – Mobile, Enabled, Included. All of which have an impact upon the potential for poverty faced by young Londoners with a disability.

We enable young people to have a chance to have a childhood through our free clubs and programmes, aimed to break the isolation of disability, and give the young people confidence, social skills and a group of friends. At no cost to the family, these can help to tackle the mental impacts of financial deprivation. For young people who are older, we also supply free Employability skill and work placement with our network of partners to provide the launchpad for young wheelchair users to beat the employment gap, and to aid in systemic change to a less impoverished disabled generation.

Tell us something you are excited about?

Morph! Yes, Morph! This year across the summer, Whizz-Kidz has teamed up with Wild in Art and Aardman Animations to do the first step-free Art Trail within London. The trail will have 50+ 6ft high Morph sculptures painted and designed running down the Southbank from Tower Bridge then across past St Pauls and into the city. Alongside the “big” Morphs will be “gaggles” of ‘Mini’ Morphs, designed and painted by schools to support the trail, and of course to support Whizz-Kidz.

Pop along between June and August to see Morph having an “Epic Adventure” in London!

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

It has been shown repeatedly that the right wheelchair can a big impact on a young person, both mentally and physically, allowing them to access education, recreation and employment with a greater ease and confidence. Through the Mobile strategy, Whizz-Kidz supported approx. 1,000 families through our clinical services, of which near 1/3 were from the most deprived parts of England, helping to alleviate disability related costs averaging £2,400 per piece of equipment, whilst giving a young person the same chances and childhood of non-disabled children.

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

Our work to make our young people more included starts and ends at their voice, aims and ambitions. The Kidz Board, a group of 12 young people that help to guide and steer the organisation onto topics that are concerning to them as young disabled people, has allowed us to look at the issues around poverty and financial deficit of the disabled community from all  the angles impacting their daily lives. Examples have included the non-standardised “disabled bus pass”, longer journey times due to inadequate higher education accommodations, the job market, social activities, the role of assistance dogs and many more – all of which have a financial impact on young person and their family.


What would most help you achieve your goals?

Whilst of course, funding is always helpful to a charity, we are always looking to be raising awareness of the additional issues faced by Young Wheelchair Users, as quite often they go unnoticed. Partners committing to having Disability Awareness provided by people with lived experience, or work with people with lived experience to open their horizons, and break the misconceptions around disability. The young people that we work with also need people to provide them with the opportunities to succeed, whether that is in a social setting through supporting our clubs, or a employability setting supporting Work Placements and Employability Skills Sessions. 

Show these young people that they have a future just like anyone else.


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

We joined 4in10 as we have become rapidly aware of the additional effects of having a disability on the Cost of Living, and Child Poverty issues currently within the UK, and London. As an organisation that helps to support these young people, we know that we need to be connected to others fighting this issue as well. A candle is dim, but a handful can become a lighthouse, after all.

It is great to be part of a group of organisations looking to tackle this issue within London, a city often shown by its tourist-y bits and not some of the areas of great deprivation and be able to talk about the work we are doing, and ask to help from others on the topic, and campaigns we are running.

To connect with other groups who are interested in childcare and child poverty. So far its been really useful, thank you!

Spotlight on 4in10 Member On The Record

On The Record


How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

The lack of affordable childcare and inequality in educational opportunities for the early years is a major cause of poverty. Our project ‘Grow Your Own’ is sharing the history of how people created childcare and early years education and campaigned for improvements in London from the 1960s till the present day. We hope that learning more about how childcare was created in the past could help people change the childcare system we have today for the better, and therefore help to tackle child poverty.

Tell us something you are excited about?

We are excited that we can offer 10 free places on a podcast training course running from April 20th for six weeks. People taking part will get expert training in writing, recording, researching and editing a podcast episode, with all expenses covered including childcare. If you are affected by the lack of affordable childcare or trying to change childcare for the better, and have a connection to east London, please apply to join the course!

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

We’ve only just begun, but we have found a lot of people already with really interesting stories to share from decades of work making childcare better. We are starting to plan a program of events where we’ll share some of that experience and learning.

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

About the history of childcare, including how parents set up their own community run nurseries in the 1970s when they couldn’t find any childcare, how they campaigned to get their local councils to fund them, and how their work setting up community nurseries directly influenced the Sure Start Children’s Centres that were set up in the late 1990s. We want to get the most useful information to you to help you achieve your goals today.

What would most help you achieve your goals?

Reaching lots of people – so please help spread the word!

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

To connect with other groups who are interested in childcare and child poverty. So far its been really useful, thank you!

Spotlight on 4in10 Member Education and Skills Development Group


How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

At the Education and Skills Development Group (ESDEG) we strive to alleviate child poverty through education in the London borough of Ealing. We run several programmes that provide support to the children belonging to refugee and deprived communities so that they can perform at par with the rest of their school cohort and enjoy a dignified childhood.

Supplementary Schooling: ESDEG was started to help children from refugee and deprived backgrounds to perform better in school. Around 2005 a bunch of us noticed that the attainment rate for children from refugee families in the Ealing was pretty dismal. Somali children were struggling in school and consistently underachieving, so we started after-school homework clubs. Our tutors not only provide children help with academic subjects in particular English, Mathematics and Science, but also offer a safe space to share their experiences in and about school.

Summer Camps: Over summer and other holidays we team up with other local organisations to organise camps, family fun days, seaside trips, sports and other recreational activities because we realise that some of the parents from deprived backgrounds cannot afford to take their children on holidays and day outs.

Family and Schools Partnership: Our work with children and parents made us realise how much some parents from deprived backgrounds whose first language is not English struggle to communicate with the teachers and school staff. The challenge gets multiplied for parents who were not raised in the British education system. From this stemmed our next service, our Family Support Liaison Officers work as a communication bridge between schools and children and their parents. One of the major issues our liaison officers are working on are school exclusions, both formal and informal. We have also produced a research document based on case studies of exclusion cases among the Somali community in Ealing (report available in our website

Youth Mentoring Project: This project is designed to provide individual and group mentoring to inspire young people; help raise their self-esteem and aspirations; improve their attainment and behaviour; and reduce the likelihood of exclusions, crime and anti-social behaviour. We motivate them to study and succeed in life by looking up to successful role models. Moreover, we equip our mentees with the resilience, emotional intelligence and growth mindset to help them overcome their barriers. Our experienced mentors provide structured and engaging sessions to young people from minority backgrounds, offering guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of their mentees. Young people often disclose concerns and problems that parents/carers and school staff are not aware of. Our mentors also detect and report any safeguarding concerns and help young people overcome issues of abuse, bullying, radicalisation, neglect etc.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Project supports children in Ealing with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Our aim is to bridge the gap between families, schools and the Local Authority by working with both the parents and the children to ensure the child is receiving all the support they need for educational success. Our specialised staff focus on identifying the reasonable adjustments a child with SEND may need to reduce the disadvantages they face as well as providing extra encouragement in their learning and support with physical and personal care difficulties.


Tell us something you are excited about?

ESDEG’s integrative therapist has recently launched an initiative which encourages school children to express themselves through art. These exercises have been very effective with children who suffer from anxiety. Children not only express themselves more candidly through colours and pencils, they enjoy the process and are eager to come back for more. Seeing the success of this initiative, our counsellor is planning to expand this to other children as well.


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

Last year (2020-2021) we supported over 180 students through our supplementary schooling – helping to raise their academic achievement, self-esteem, and social skills. Over the last seventeen years since ESDEG started, we have seen the children who attended supplementary schools improve their performance in school, secure college places and go on to have successful careers.


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

ESDEG works with refugee and minority communities, the so-called hard-to-reach target groups. One of the main reasons for our successful outreach is that many of our staff are from minority backgrounds ourselves. Not only do we belong to the same community and speak the same languages, we understand the cultural and religious nuances which enhance communication and our clients feel confidence in our ability to provide them with high quality services.


What would most help you achieve your goals?

Like the other grassroots organisations we are also striving to operate with a limited pot of funding. Added to that is our struggle to secure office and training/meeting spaces for our day to day activities in the Ealing borough of London. The third challenge we face is in recruitment, training and retaining our staff. We feel that we could concentrate on our work a lot better if these administrative issues could be sorted.


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

To connect with like minded organisations who are working with disadvantaged groups. Also being part of the 4in10 network helps us be part of the collective voice of the sector.

Read 4in10's Latest Newsletter Here

News, Campaigns, Data, Funding and More.

To receive our newsletter every fortnight directly to your inbox,  join us here.

Spotlight on 4in10 Member Praxis and the NRPF Action Group

How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

Praxis is a charity for migrants and refugees. We provide immigration advice, housing and peer support and through all of these ways our work helps to protect children from poverty. We have become a leading expert in finding pathways out of destitution and supporting migrants facing homelessness, and our training and campaign work has national and international impact. Our core purpose is to help migrants in crisis or at risk, ensuring they can live in safety, overcome the barriers they face, and take control of their own destinies. You can read more about our strategy here, find us on Facebook, Twitter and our website here.

As part of this work, we facilitate the No Recourse to Public Funds Action Group, which is made up of campaigners with lived experience of the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) policy, to build campaigns to end this policy. You can find out more about our campaign, and read the NRPF Action Group’s manifesto calling for the end of NRPF here.

Tell us something you are excited about?

We are really excited that the group has decided to focus on campaigning for free school meals. The overarching goal of our campaign is to ensure free school meals for all children living in poverty, regardless of their parents’ immigration status. We’re launching with a specific call to the Government to make permanent the temporary extension of free school meals to some groups of children living in poverty affected by No Recourse to Public Funds, which was brought in during the pandemic.

We are also calling for free school meals for all children in poverty, regardless of immigration status, to take into account the fact that children with insecure immigration status are not covered by the extension of eligibility.
Our policy briefing sets out our campaign asks in more detail – you can find that here;

Additionally, here are some posts you can share if possible:

If you can support our campaign on social media, in your email networks and newsletters, this would be hugely appreciated! Please do reach out if you would like to collaborate in any way!. Any support you can offer to our campaign is hugely welcomed and thank you for all you do –

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

We were one of the organisations that helped to uncover the Windrush Scandal originally and we’re proud to have been part of the work to campaign to change the system.

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

  • We can offer advice for those who need help navigating the migration system: Get Help — Praxis for Migrants and Refugees.
  • We are experts in finding pathways out of destitution and supporting migrants facing homelessness. Please reach out to collaborate on this!
  • We can offer training on the immigration system for a variety of organisations (depending on our capacity).

What would most help you achieve your goals?

We want to make sure that migrants can live in safety, overcome the barriers they face, and take control of their own destinies. To do this, we campaign for systemic change. We’re building alliances and working in partnership with experts by experience to create positive, long-term changes to the policies and practices that create exclusion and destitution. We’d love to collaborate on work to achieve these goals!

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

Though we have only been in contact with the 4in10 team for a short while, 4in10 has already provided a brilliant chance to forge connections and collaborate with other amazing organisations working in the capital!

We are so looking forward to working together more, especially on our campaign to make sure all who need them have access to free school meals regardless of their immigration status.

Spotlight on Restorative Justice for All

Spotlight Interview with 4in10 Member RJ4A

  • How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

The Restorative Justice for All International Institute (RJ4All) is a charitable, user-led NGO with a mission to address poverty and advance community cohesion and human rights.  We redistribute power in a more equal way by delivering social justice and poverty relief projects, educational programmes, intercultural dialogue, internships and high-quality volunteering opportunities to the most marginalised groups of society. Child poverty in London is not only a reality, but also a persistent societal failure. That is why we put emphasis on making a difference by providing local direct services from the RJ4All Rotherhithe Community centre, where we are based. It is not possible to achieve equality and community cohesion, if poverty and disadvantage are not rooted out first.

Since COVID19, we prioritized poverty relief and wellbeing projects, focusing on making a change locally and by prioritizing services for groups who are faced with extra challenges. One of these groups are children and young people in the South East London area where we are based. These local services are provided from the RJ4All Rotherhithe Community Centre, which has become a hub of community empowerment and cohesion. It offers a food-bank, a community fridge, free sport classes, a community library, COVID19 tests and educational workshops to children, young people and professionals. It is also a safe place for anyone who wants to pop in for a coffee, use our facilities or just chat with our interns, volunteers and team.

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

Last year, RJ4All was the recipient of the Best Charity Award from the Southwark Business Awards due to its youth-led COVID-19 poverty relief project “You are not Alone”. During the pandemic, children and young people came together and with the support of the RJ4All Director, Dr. Gavrielides, they set up the project to help their peers who were struggling. The project started with a small grant that RJ4All managed to secure, providing food and PPE to children, young people and their families. It then quickly expanded across London, resulting in generating over 500 volunteer placements, a mental health helpline run by children and young people for children and young people, online courses and a bank of online resources, internships and online fitness classes. The project is now under the auspices of the independent youth-led FRED campaign, hosted by RJ4All. Dr. Gavrielides also received the Southwark Civic Award 2021 as a result.

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

We encourage members to learn more about restorative justice and its underlying value of power sharing. Restorative justice is not just a justice practice. It is an ethos and a methodology for carrying out projects, or even how to lead our lives. We would be happy to introduce members to restorative justice and we encourage them to take our free CPD certified courses by visiting

  • What would most help you achieve your goals?

Our mission is to address poverty and advance community cohesion and human rights. We do this by using the power of education, sports and art, as well as the practices and values of restorative justice including power sharing, fairness, equality, dignity and respect. We start locally and thus any support for our community service provision in SE16 London would be much appreciated. Our food bank and community fridge are always in need for stocking up!

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

We were very pleased to join the campaign in October (London Challenge Poverty Week), and we very much enjoyed working with the network given that we share similar values and goals. We often operate in silos making our work harder and our impact smaller. By connecting our minds and hearts, we come closer to addressing power abuse and the inequality that impacts on our children.

Spotlight Interview with Voices of Hope

4in10 Member, Voices of Hope, share their work.

How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

Voices of Hope was established to help restore and rebuild hope in individuals, improving physical and mental health through community based projects. We work with groups across our community including families and individuals at risk of food insecurity, women who have experienced domestic violence/abuse and those with complex physical and or mental health issues. VoH also run a community choir and an innovative breathing support service.

Our BRITE (Building Resilience In Today’s Environment) Box project is a weekly recipe meal kit containing all the ingredients and a step by step, child friendly, illustrated recipe guide to resource and enable families to enjoy preparing and eating a healthy meal. We work closely with the Local Authority, Voluntary Sector and schools to reach families who will benefit most from engaging with the project and each family joins BRITE Box for a school year, receiving a new recipe meal kit every Friday.

Beyond the need to help children in immediate food poverty through providing a weekly balanced family meal at no cost, BRITE Box also addresses the impact of food scarcity on children through increasing skills, confidence and enjoyment in trying new foods and cooking from scratch – a life skill which can have a long term impact on physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing.

We have also set up The Good Food Co-Op, a not for profit spray free, fresh fruit and vegetable box scheme, with the aim of ‘making healthy, fresh produce accessible to all’. Every box purchased by customers allows us to offer heavily subsidised boxes to referral customers, with community cooking events and courses planned for 2022.

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

BRITE Box has grown from 40 boxes a week in May 2020 to 450 boxes delivered to families each week across Kingston, Richmond, Southwark and Elmbridge. We have worked very closely with Local Authorities, schools, businesses, volunteers and VCS partners to create a truly community led project. However, our main achievement is the engagement and feedback we have received from families and schools taking part in BRITE Box.

“It helped me out when I was struggling and shows how cheap it can actually be to buy and make food from scratch”
“It was amazing, I learned new recipes and it created a great task for me and the kids to do together, a weekly treat, it gave the kids something to look forward to”
“I haven’t seen a project so well engaged with and so embraced by staff, children and adults. It is particularly impressive how enthusiastic the children have been through and how engaged they have remained. the collaboration of adults engaging with and talking to the children has been fantastic. It has built confidence, communication and self-esteem”. (School Head)

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

Effective partnership and working across the statutory, VCS and private sectors has been vital to the continued development and funding of BRITE Box. We place a high value on working relationally – listening, learning and sharing experiences.

What would most help you achieve your goals?

In order to allow more families to take part in BRITE Box we are keen to develop diversified sustainable funding streams and partnerships with like-minded community partners in other areas. We predominately serve Kingston, Richmond, Southwark and Elmbridge but are keen to work with others to serve other parts of London as we grow.

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

4in10 provides a fantastic opportunity to be part of a network to learn, share insights and work together with a collective voice to reduce inequality across London.

For more on VOH go to and if you are interested in partnering with us please get in touch.

Members Spotlight: West London Zone

West London Zone

  • How are you helping young people in London?

We help children and young people build the relationships and skills they need to get on track Socially, Emotionally and Academically. We call this creating a SEA change.

We believe that by targeting these key areas of development we can empower children to fulfil their potential.

We work in West London - an area of deep inequality where 1 in 5 children and young people aren’t getting the support they need to thrive. Our research shows that there are 12,000 children and young people currently living in our community that need additional support.

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

During the COVID-19 lockdowns we adapted quickly to provide online support to children and young people. In the first lockdown, between 23 March - 17 July, we provided on average 3 Link Worker interactions per child per week. We also delivered remote support, working really closely with our partners to adapt to this way of delivering.

Now that we are able to provide face to face support, we are extending it for those who would normally be finishing their two-year programme in July to provide experiences and opportunities until the end of August.

Our aim is to offer children the opportunity to participate in sport, drama, music, art and crafts and a range of trips and visits - as well as accessing some additional support from where needed.

These activities will support them with much needed social interaction with their peers, to promote positive emotional wellbeing and have the chance to take part in some fun-filled activities after a very challenging year.

We raised £21,135 this month to go towards funding these activities throughThe Childhood Trust’s Champions for Children campaign!

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

We have a funding model that sees each child supported by their local council, central government, their school and philanthropy. This means we are not reliant on one source of funding alone and can provide more support with these parties together than any one of them on their own.

We work to ensure that every child gets on track socially, emotionally and academically – and we have designed our funding model in a way to help us deliver this. Our commissioners pay us in instalments over the course of a child’s two-year programme, when we provide evidence of their participation in the programme and their progress at the end.

With payment explicitly tied to each individual, we are driven to achieve for every single child on our programme.

Our funding model means we work really collaboratively with our funders and partners - we have learnt a lot about how to do this effectively over the years. You can find more about our insights on this in our most recent Impact Report.

  • What would most help you achieve your goals?

We are continuing to be purposeful and strategic with our aims for growth so that we can reach more of the 12,000 children in our Zone that could benefit from our support. We are growing so we can be truly 'deep' in our place - supporting children across the community and working together to impact a generation of young people in West London. We’ve grown quickly, and aim to support 3,000 children and young people a year by 2025.

We have a big ambition - and we are focused on one place. By working with local organisations and people, we think it is possible to enable all children in our community to have access to the support they need to thrive in adulthood.

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

4in10 is a really important network, and we believe it’s important to constantly share our insights and learn from other organisations. We really enjoy receiving 4in10’s newsletter filled with details on events and opportunities for organisations. 4in10 do a brilliant job of bringing together organisations to unite to tackle inequality in London.

Spotlight on 4in 10 member Art Burst



  •  How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

We are a creative education not-for-profit company, so where we can’t directly tackle child poverty we can help and support families and children who are living in poverty through our workshops and online resources to offer fun, quality time while building their confidence, communication skills, increasing pride in their achievements to help them in their educational attainment and alleviate the effects of poverty. We offer lots of fun online activities for individual families for after school fun, weekends or holiday times which are free of charge. Browse through our Resources page on the website or follow us on Instagram and Facebook, You Tube. There are lots of things to dip in and out of from home.  If you’re from a school, Children’s Centre or other community organisation you can access the resources in groups, or signpost them to your parents/children. There are free video, stories, craft and singing resources with downloads of Step-by-Step guides, craft templates, visual timetables - everything you need for your session planning or assemblies. Check out our latest Animal Safari and No Pens Day resources.
We specialise in communication-focussed projects which help all children with their communication skills, whether they have identified Speech and Language Needs,  Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or speak English as a second language at home or not. We make the resources accessible with Makaton and BSL where we can.

In May our online ‘Monster Mayhem’ festival launches. This year, after such a difficult one, the festival is designed to support children in their mental well-being after the lockdowns. A specially composed story of 'Marge Monster' takes children on a journey that reflects their experience of COVID through a fictional monster’s eyes, exploring the isolation of lockdown, fears, worries about getting back to playing  or going to school with encouraging messages for re-building friendships and importantly, sharing their thoughts and anxieties towards re-building their resilience and mental well-being. This is important for all children and especially children from poorer families who may live in more cramped housing and went through lockdowns with no gardens or outside space. They may have daily said ‘bye mum/dad/sister/brother’ in the early morning or evening to those who were heading off for shift work in some of the most risky jobs in lockdown: Bus Drivers, Frontline Healthcare workers; Cleaners; Postal and Delivery Workers; and may have had very real and difficult fears. We mustn’t forget too that some lower income families have had drastic personal tragedies through continued illness and bereavement of parents or relatives through the pandemic. Our festival hopes to help children to look forward to better times for their play, education and mental well-being. Monster Mayhem launches on May 3rd and is available throughout May.

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

Comments we get from children, parents schools and partners is amazing. It really spurs us on!
When children and  families say things like ‘It was VERY, VERY, VERY fun!”;It really helped him verbally’  ‘Fantastic! Artburst listened carefully to what we wanted and the students really enjoyed the project’.
Feedback from teachers and parents shows high percentages (75%-100%) of positive benefits, saying children have boosted their confidence, have improved in their communication skills and felt proud of what they’ve achieved.

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

We’d be delighted to hear from network members if they’d like to work in partnership with us or know more about what we can offer. Where there’s an evidence of need we can work together to gain funding to offer tailored creative activities for your group or organisation, to offer creative education for your groups and organisations. Please get in contact with us.

  •  What would most help you achieve your goals?

In lockdown we got funding through the London Community Response Fund/National Lottery Community Fund to develop online content.  We reached so many more families and schools across London.  We aim to carry on the online work alongside our in-school and community face-to-face workshops when safe.  We need to increase our staff capacity and find ways to support the costs of that to reach as many children who need our projects as possible.

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

As a team we’re all aware of the effects of child poverty and what that means for children in their real and everyday lives. It’s really important for us to be part of this network - we’re kept up to date and learn lots from the reports and publications we hear about in the 4in10 newsletters and we read news of what other organisations are doing. The 4in10 network is a ‘must join’ network. Thanks for all you do there, it is really important work.

For general enquiries
For partnership enquiries

Follow us on Instagram @artburst
Follow us on Twitter @artburstltd
Like us on Facebook @artburstltd

the rainbow centre

Spotlight on 4in10 member organisation, Rainbow Money Advice

Interview with Stuart from 4in10 member organisation Rainbow Money Advice




  • How are you helping to tackle child poverty in London?

Rainbow Money Advice, established in 2015, is a service provided by Barnet Community Projects, and affiliated with Community Money Advice. We are based in the Rainbow Centre in a deprived part of the London Borough of Barnet.
Our aim is to give help and hope to people with money problems.  This is achieved by providing a free of charge money advice service that helps people deal with their debts, budgeting, and welfare benefits issues.  The service provides advice by appointments on Tuesdays.  We work closely with our colleagues Sarah and Jeanette, who run the Dollis Valley Angels emergency food delivery service at the Rainbow Centre, and with Anne and her team running a Lunch Club with activities for local school children in the school holidays.

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

As at the end of February 2021, we had held over 800 interviews, and helped 180 clients/families.  There have been cash successes of over £176,000 in annual awards (mostly welfare benefits, and savings in expenditure) – and over £130,000 in one-off gains, which include having debts cancelled and grants awarded.  Other successes include obtaining white goods and furniture for those who cannot afford them.  Several people who had been sleeping on the floor now have beds.  We have also helped make successful applications for Blue Badges, and Disabled Persons’ Freedom Passes.  We were delighted to be recently chosen to be Winner of the Barnet Group’s Community Group of the Year.
A memorable case, which highlights the work we do, concerns a woman diagnosed with a personality disorder, who had attempted suicide.  She incurred substantial rent arrears.  A successful application to Barnet Council for a Discretionary Housing Payment cleared the arrears and fortunately avoided eviction for our client and her four-year-old child.

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

Small agencies like ours do not have numerous volunteers and staff to discuss issues and share experiences.  It’s important, therefore, to build relationships with advisers in other agencies, and to participate in shared events, such as those provided by Money Advice Groups.  It’s also important to forge links with local charities providing mutual sources for signposting and referrals.
The Coronavirus pandemic has of course created many challenges for advisers and our clients.  We postponed our face-to-face appointments and replaced them with a remote service.  Some success has been achieved holding interviews by video, using Zoom and What’s App.  Being able to see your clients works best, as non-verbal clues can be missed over the phone.  Unfortunately, not all clients can afford, or are able to use, this sort of technology. Many clients seeking debt advice invariably brought large bundles of letters from creditors (often in unopened envelopes). Some clients have now been able to scan and email documents to us; whilst others have learnt to take photos with their mobile phones and send them to us by What’s App.
One positive from the pandemic is that it created the time and opportunity for money adviser Stuart to study online for the Certificate in Money Advice Practice.  This was provided by the Institute of Money Advisers with Staffordshire University (and kindly funded by Barnet Community Projects and the Thames Water Trust Fund).  The course is excellent, highly recommended, and the knowledge gained helps us to provide a much-needed service.

  • What would most help you achieve your goals?

More time and more volunteers = more money!  We are a small charity with limited resources, and there is a huge demand for appointments.  Our service has been a victim of its own success as the word has spread.  What started with helping people living across the road in the local estate has grown beyond expectations. Clients are being signposted/referred by numerous organisations, including local GPs and schools.  Our aim is to expand, to provide a service on several days of the week with a presence in other parts of the Borough.  We have started training new volunteers, and trainee Fanta (with experience gained at the Barnet Refugee Service) has already helped to advise clients.  More funding will enable us to train more volunteers and achieve our goals.

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

As already mentioned, networking is very important. 4 in 10 is a great organisation, with a shiny new website providing access to hundreds of great organisations, many of which have shared information and contacts with Rainbow Money Advice.  We always look forward to 4 in 10’s emailed Newsletter.  This is packed with essential information about events, surveys, campaigning, reports, job opportunities – and the all-important details of grants for clients, and funding for organisations.  It was through 4 in 10 that we experienced the inspiring London Child Poverty Week conference. We are grateful to 4 in 10 for bringing together the organisations and resources which will help us all tackle child poverty in London.

For more information about Rainbow Money Advice, email Stuart Goodman on or phone 07981 760 399 (Tuesdays and Thursdays).
For further information about Barnet Community Projects, our Dollis Valley Angels Project, or Lunch Club, email Steve Verrall on or phone 07946 728515.