KIDS at 50

Welcome to KIDS’ 50th Anniversary

For 50 years, KIDS has worked alongside disabled children, young people and their families.

We’ve directly helped many thousands of children and young people, supported their families and worked creatively to provide support in the way that’s right for each individual We’re delighted to share examples of our achievements over five decades; stories from families we’ve supported, young people who have used our services, trustees who have guided our work and staff who have dedicated their working lives to championing the needs of disabled children.

We have a gallery showcasing some of the events we’ve organised and from some of our services over the years, messages of support, and a timeline (coming soon) illustrating a snapshot of some of our achievements in each of the decades.

As the anniversary year progresses we will be adding more content so please do check back regularly. And if you spot a gap or have a story to share we’d love to hear from you!

Stephen Unwin, KIDS' Chairman, writes about how KIDS supported his son, Joey and why he decided to join our Board.

"It’s hard not to overstate what KIDS gave my severely disabled son, Joey, and our family when he was young. 

He loved, and still loves, KIDS Hackney Playground, where he gained the confidence to get himself up to the top of the climbing wall, run happily on the raised walkway, fly along the zip wire, and laugh and play and have fun like any other child does.

Then, thanks to KIDS, we had tremendous help most days after school from a wonderful support worker, who Joey still remembers and visits when he’s in London. Day in, day out, she made it possible for our lives to continue. This was part of the Short Breaks scheme.

Last but not least, when we were fighting for Joey to be moved to a special school, and then when he needed a residential place that could manage his intractable epilepsy, KIDS gave us the most brilliant Independent Support adviser who helped us negotiate our way through the bureaucratic jungle.

And that’s why I jumped at the chance to become Chairman. KIDS has given Joey and my family so much, and I was determined to do the little I can in return. We have a really strong Board of Trustees, a superb Executive team and, above all, a committed, warm-hearted and incredibly skilled staff.  Being Chairman has been the honour of a lifetime.

The lives of disabled children, young people and their families have many real challenges. And although the last twenty years have seen advances in the way that help is given, there are still many pitfalls. You can judge a society by the way it treats the disabled, and KIDS do everything they can to make those lives happier and easier.

But KIDS’ ethic is more than just support, it’s also a celebration of the huge joy, energy and grace that these different, but utterly amazing children bring not just to their families, but to the world at large."