Our mission is to protect and promote refugee, displaced and disadvantaged children's right to play, as set out in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
"That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts." Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We believe that every child should have access to a safe, happy, nurturing and stimulating place to play.
We aim to achieve our goal by:
enabling children in crises situations to play in safety by operating Child Friendly Spaces that provide an holistic service which meets the complex needs of refugee and displaced children
collaborating with partner organisations in a supportive role to promote and facilitate free and structured play; providing volunteers, resources, training and consultancy
engaging in capacity building initiatives that promote and facilitate play by working with other organisations that offer services to refugee, displaced and disadvantaged children
educating parents and care givers of refugee, displaced and disadvantaged children in the importance of play
providing play equipment and play-based learning resources to organisations which support refugee, displaced and disadvantaged children.
Refugee Children's Centres is an independent non-governmental organisation founded in 2016. We are currently awaiting registered charity status.
The organisation is run by a small Board of Trustees, a Director, a team of Coordinators and Advisers and in-field Volunteers - all of whom work as unpaid volunteers.
In Refugee Children’s Centres we value happiness and wellbeing, respect and freedom of self-expression; everything we do is based on this.
Happiness and wellbeing – to be able to smile, laugh and relax
Respect – for ourselves and each other, no matter our background or differences. We promote a culture of tolerance, equality, diversity, inclusion and fairness
Freedom of self-expression – to feel safe enough to be open and to develop positive self-esteem
In our Centres we aim to:
create welcoming, secure, nurturing and happy environments for all children
develop rapid and powerful relationships built on mutual respect and trust
foster children’s self-esteem and confidence through encouragement and positive behaviour management
provide activities and play experiences that are fun, engaging, stimulating and enriching
value each child individually so that they can develop and extend their own special strengths and interests
provide opportunities that encourage the children to share and work co-operatively
foster the positive social and emotional skills of each child necessary for a rapid and smooth integration into mainstream education
Board of Trustees
Board of Directors
Founding Director, Freya White
Programme Coordinator, Helen Wiggins
Research and Development Coordinator, Caroline Zwierzchowska-Dod
Programme Officer, Jon-Jo McClelland
Help from Home Team
Marketing and Communication Officer, Lauren Wilson
Fundraising Manager, Sally Houghton
Programme Officer, Hannah Edge
Research and Fundraising Assistant, Sarah Stevens
Education Coordinator, Elena Natale BEd PGCE, Homerton College
Janet Harvell BSc MA, Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education, Centre for Children & Families, University of Worcester
Alison Prowel BA MSc PGCE, Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education,Centre for Children & Families, University of Worcester
Caroline Zwierzchowska-Dod BEd MEd, Homerton College
Health and Safety, John Knight CMIOSH, British Red Cross