The children’s grant-giving organisation, Buttle UK, runs a Small Grants Programme which can provide a personal and fast response to families living in crisis and help children to improve their engagement in education..
This programme is designed to help ensure that children who are experiencing very difficult circumstances where their safety, health or development is at risk, still have their basic material needs met.
The charity considers exceptional those who are living in severe poverty, suffering deprivation as a result, and who are facing additional social issues such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol misuse, estrangement, illness, distress, abuse, neglect, behavioural or mental health issues.
Funding of up to £300 is available to provide essential items such as a washing machine so that a child has clean clothes to wear to school; or a cooker to give them a hot meal; or a fridge to store food.
A child’s bed, for instance, can allow a young person to get a good night’s sleep and thus perform better in school with the chance of achieving their best; a chance that they may not have had if they had to sleep on the floor every night.
Clothing can also give a child confidence with their peers and thus help their ability in the classroom. One mother said that her son can now attend school without being singled out because he did not have the correct uniform.
Buttle UK knows from first-hand experience what a difference this kind of help can make. It has been distributing grants for over 60 years and sees at first hand how these grants can turn people’s lives around when they are at their most vulnerable.
Letters of appreciation are often received once a beneficiary has got back on their feet and the children are settled and making progress and friends at school. It is rewarding to see cards with messages like these::
“Thank you so, so much for buying my two boys a set of bunk beds and mattresses. Their faces were a picture as they have never had their own bed. I am so very grateful for you helping us as a family.
“We had been sleeping on mattresses on the floor. The kids are more independent in their own beds and are less tired at nursery.