Putney Educational Support Charity Receives Covid-19 Award

St Christopher's is to benefit from new Winston Churchill Memorial Trust grant


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Local charity St Christopher's, is one of the 21 projects that will be receiving an award announced today (3rd June) from a new fund launched by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) for urgent projects by Churchill Fellows to combat the effects of Covid-19 in healthcare and many other areas of UK life.

Geneva Ellis, pictured above, from Putney, is the Director of Income and Development at St Christopher's. The charity provides homes and support for children in care. She will use her grant to provide educational support for looked after children and care leavers, across 12 children’s homes and homes for care leavers across London and the West Midlands. This will include providing students with laptops and wifi access so they can continue their schoolwork; equipping charity staff and carers with the knowledge and resource to support the young people in continued education, particularly those who were due to sit GCSEs and A-Levels this summer; and providing each young person with any additional educational support they may need.

Geneva Ellis said: “We are so grateful to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust for supporting St Christopher’s young people so we can ensure their education is as substantial and impactful as possible.”

Only 17% of children in care get 5 A*-C grades at GCSE, compared to 60% of all children. This drops to 4% if they live in children's homes. Additionally, care leavers are less likely to go to university, with 12% entering higher education by the age of 23 compared to 42% of the general population. With the effect of the pandemic on children's education, school closures and the introduction of remote working, children in care and care leavers are severely affected and these statistics are only likely to get worse.

Geneva Ellis' Churchill Fellowship in 2012 explored international models of children's homes in Germany, Norway and Sweden. It was supported by The Rank Foundation.

Jeremy Soames, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) Chairman and grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, in whose memory the Churchill Fellowship was founded, said: “In today’s urgent situation, the Churchill Fellows' contribution to the national effort is remarkable. They are proven experts in their fields, working on the frontline and making an impact where it is most needed. I believe my grandfather would have been immensely proud of what today's Churchill Fellows are achieving in his name, during the greatest challenge our nation has faced since the war.”

The 21 Fellows will receive an average grant of £7,370, totaling almost £155,000. Churchill Fellows are UK citizens from all walks of life who are chosen each year to find the world’s best solutions for the UK’s most pressing problems in every area of society.

The Covid-19 Action Fund was launched in April 2020 by WCMT , to increase its Fellows’ impact in the national effort against CV-19. Hundreds of pandemic projects nationwide are being run or assisted by Churchill Fellows, using the international expertise they gained during their Fellowships overseas. The Fund aims to award a second round of grants in the autumn.

Lessons learnt from the whole spectrum of Fellows’ CV-19 projects will be gathered to create a national resource and knowledge bank of learnings and recommendations. This resource will be available for policy-makers and practitioners in many sectors as the UK starts to restore itself, build resilience and prevent future similar scenarios.

There are 3,800 Churchill Fellows in the UK. They are drawn from all backgrounds and age groups, and are normally funded to travel overseas seeking the world’s best solutions for the UK’s current challenges. This year, due to the restrictions on international travel, Fellows are being funded for UK-based activities, to focus on helping the UK’s recovery and resilience.

June 3, 2020

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