(from left) Ruth Ottley, Head Coordinator for the VINCI UK Foundation; Gordon Moulds, CEO of Kids Out; and Ian Parker, Technical and Security Consultant at Axians.
For over 30 years, KidsOut has provided toys and fun days out for child victims of domestic violence in refuge. On top of this, the Leighton Buzzard-based charity would like to supply every school-aged child in a Women’s Aid Federation Refuge with access to a computer and WIFI so they can continue their schoolwork and maintain contact with friends.
“Each year more than 20,000 children flee domestic abuse to seek sanctuary in refuge, typically leaving home with only the clothes on their back. We want to support these children in their educational development and give them opportunities to just be children and have fun, so they can grow up to become successful members of society,” says Gordon Moulds, CEO of KidsOut.
Overall, KidsOut is looking to provide at least 1,000 computers across the UK’s 320 staffed Women’s Aid Federation Refuges, where they can be safely maintained and signed out to the children included in this initiative. So far, the charity has secured funding for the first 120 laptops, which it will distribute to refuges in September.
“The timing of VINCI’s support could not have been better. The £4,600 from the VINCI UK Foundation will enable us to purchase 20 laptops and include an additional 10 refuges, which will benefit the education and mental wellbeing of hundreds of children during an incredibly difficult time in their lives,” Gordon continues.
As well as the grant, Ian Parker, a technical and security consultant for Axians, the ICT arm of VINCI Energies UK & RoI, will offer practical advice on software requirements, child-friendly security and theft prevention to ensure KidsOut gets the right products with the best value for money.
The VINCI UK Foundation previously supported KidsOut in 2018 with a £12,000 grant towards the charity’s Toy Box service, which sends children moving into a refuge a box of brand-new toys and games. This helps ease the anxiety of their situation, make the world seem a little kinder and give them a reason to invite other children over to play.
“I’m thrilled that we can continue our support for KidsOut. It is a wonderful charity that brings fun and exciting memories to thousands of disadvantaged children across the UK,” Ian says.
Established in 2016 to promote social integration and cohesion in the communities surrounding VINCI businesses, the VINCI UK Foundation has granted almost £1.2 million to 169 charities across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. At the same time, VINCI employees have donated their professional skills to support the charities in whatever small way they can.