Caudwell Children - Our history

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Our history

Caudwell Children was founded in 2000 to improve the lives of disabled children living in Staffordshire and South Cheshire.

Following several years successfully supporting families in the local area, the wider need for an efficient source of support for the nation’s disabled children was identified and it was agreed to make Caudwell Children a national charity.

So in 2006 Caudwell Children announced it would be helping children from across the UK, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of applications and subsequently a greater demand for fundraising.

At this point the charity team expanded and increased the volume of community and corporate fundraising activity across the country.

From that day Caudwell Children has grown exponentially year-on-year, supporting on average an additional 2000 new children each year. The charity is now widely recognised as one of the fastest growing children’s charities in the UK and the second largest independent providers of specialist equipment.

Upon the successful sale of his family business, entrepreneur and philanthropist, John Caudwell, committed to a long-term partnership with the charity. Frustrated with the lack of transparency from other charities, Mr Caudwell agreed to cover the annual management and administration costs of the charity through a single donation; therefore providing complete transparency to fellow benefactors.

Due to the unique association with the Caudwell Family, the charity can boast that 100% of direct donations are used to directly support disabled children. In addition to this, the charity team work closely with suppliers to negotiate the best possible deals, ensuring each charitable £1 is doubled to provide at least £2 worth of support.

This is in stark contrast to the majority of UK charities, who on average only use 79% of any donation for their charitable activity.

The Caudwell Family remain the charity’s largest annual benefactors and John Caudwell currently sits as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

In recent years Caudwell Children has been re-defined as the ‘national charity with a local heart’, maintaining its roots within local communities and enjoying life-long relationships with many of its thousands of beneficiaries.

The charity’s national reach would not be possible without the support of a network of dedicated volunteers. The 30 (and growing) strong team of full time staff are supported by over 150 regular administration volunteers, while much of the community outreach and fundraising is conducted by the 2000 dedicated volunteers spread out across the UK.  

Throughout the charity’s history it has been constantly reviewing service delivery to ensure the most efficient and effective level of support for families.

In 2012 the charity officially launched their seven Core Services; devised after a decade of learning about the needs of families with disabled children and designed to fill the gap left by statutory services and other charities.

The Core Services consist of Family Support Services, Equipment, Treatment, S.T.E.P (Support & Therapy Enabling Progress), A.C.T (Autistic Children's Therapies), Enable Sport and Destination Dreams holidays.

As Caudwell Children continues its annual growth and plans for greater expansion and development unfold, the driving inspiration for its initial formation remain as important as it did in 2000.

Driven from the Chief Executive and the Board of Trustees, Caudwell Children remain passionate about making a real difference to the lives of individual disabled children.

Passionate, positive and practical, the charity team are motivated to improve the lives of the estimated 770,000 disabled children in the UK living, starting with the 400,000 living in or on the margins of poverty.  

Still deemed a relatively young charity, Caudwell Children’s future is bright, but one thing is confirmed; that a country where disabled children and their families have nowhere to turn, is history.


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