Help make summer happen for Battersea’s refugee children

Battersea, SW11 3HP – June 18, 2020

How do you rescue the special fun and freedom of summer for impoverished refugee children in Battersea, depressed by months living under lockdown, missing the unique values of education at school, and living in confined homes where parents may have lost their jobs and incomes?

As a solution to these important social issues and featuring a valuable double-your-money, match-funding incentive for donors, a new fundraising initiative is being launched on Tuesday, June 23 this month by the popular Battersea-based community services charity, Katherine Low Settlement (KLS).

Called KLS Champions for Children 2020 and part of Katherine Low Settlement’s Love to Learn programme, in a week the appeal aims to raise over £12,000 from the public, aided by the match-funding feature. Love to Learn is the charity’s ongoing and popular educational service to children and young people in the Battersea community.

The money raised will be spent by Katherine Low Settlement on organising a host of exciting activities and events including wellbeing workshops, stimulating discovery trips and other valuable learning experiences. These activities will help refugee children and young people in the locality gain not only new and sustaining educational benefits during the summer months, but also have fun and enjoy themselves at the same time.

“Combining learning with having fun makes for effective education and forms lasting and valuable memories,” says Aaron Barbour, director of Katherine Low Settlement. “After months of lockdown and deprivation, KLS Champions for Children 2020 aims to open the door to allow refugee children to make the very best of the summer, learn new skills and knowledge, and enjoy themselves after weeks of Covid-19 lockdown.
“The money we hope to raise means we can offer refugee children – of all ages, nationalities and religions – a great many memorable and fun-filled experiences to help develop their confidence, gain new life skills and learn more about the capital city and the country in which they have made their new home.”

Refugee children face special challenges, he says, especially those who are new to the United Kingdom. To successfully assimilate into the community they may have to get over, for example, frightening experiences from the country they left. Additionally, they have to quickly learn the English language, understand this country’s customs and fit into a completely new culture.
“Positive activities and stimulating trips during the summer holidays are a crucial part of every child’s education and development. Refugee children are no different. Like other young people, they are eager to learn and explore, adapt to new circumstances and enthusiastically make a new life for themselves,” he adds.

Organised by Katherine Low Settlement and all within relevant and official Covid-19 guidelines, the range of inspiring and fun-orientated activities will include: visits to places and events otherwise unaffordable or inaccessible; providing practical packs for virtual, online workshops covering activities such as making art and design works, baking bread, cakes and other foods; holding small group activities and educational workshops in the open air; arranging trips to Battersea Park and the Royal Parks; and family days out to other parts of London to learn more about the capital city and this country.


Match-funding magic – how £1 becomes £2, £5 becomes £10

Importantly, every donation – large or small – made to KLS Champions for Children 2020 will be doubled in value, thanks to a generous match-funding contribution scheme from Francis Holland School in Chelsea and the Childhood Trust, and running on the UK’s largest match-funding platform, The Big Give. Every pound or more given to KLS Champions for Children 2020 by a member of the public will be matched by exactly the same amount from the match-funding sponsors. For example, a £20 donation jumps to £40 through the match-funding process.

“The double-your-donation match-funding scheme is a great way for donors to make a real difference to what they give, in difficult times, at least cost to them, no matter how much or how little they give,” says Katherine Low Settlement’s Aaron Barbour.

“It is very important to Katherine Low Settlement and we thank Francis Holland School and the Childhood Trust for this generous opportunity to deliver twice as many benefits to refugee children and make the appeal doubly effective.”

Money raised from last year’s campaign, called KLS Summer Give 2019, helped Katherine Low Settlement offer 424 children the opportunity to take part in activities and trips out during the summer holidays.

From today, KLS Champions for Children 2020 will run for a week and end at noon on Tuesday, 30th June. Online donations may be made at:


Notes to editor

  1. KLS Champions for Children 2020 is part of the charity’s ongoing educational service to children in the Battersea community, Love to Learn.
    Since 2004 Katherine Low Settlement’s Love to Learn programme has been working closely with children and young people from refugee backgrounds and their families and carers.
    In the Battersea area, Katherine Low Settlement’s Love to Learn education programme provides a range of services for more than 200 children, young people and their families, including befriending and mentoring support, advocacy and casework, a very popular homework club and trips and activities, such as offered in previous years through KLS Summer Give campaigns and this year, the KLS Champions for Children campaign.
  2. For case study summaries of Love to Learn stories – see Appendix below
  3. Katherine Low’s connection with Francis Holland School
    Born in America in 1855, Katherine Mackay Low (known as Katie) was the daughter of Andrew Low II, a wealthy Savannah-based Scots trader and his second wife, Mary Cowper Stiles. After the end of the American Civil War the family settled in Leamington Spa, England, and Katie went to the Francis Holland School in Sloane Square.


About Katherine Low Settlement

Katherine Low Settlement is a much-loved, busy charity that has been at the heart of the community in Battersea, south-west London, since 1924.
With a few staff and a lot of volunteers, Katherine Low Settlement runs a range of its own popular community projects including educational courses and wellbeing activities. The charity supports children, young people and their families, older people, refugees and newly arrived communities of all genders, nationalities and religions.

The Katherine Low Settlement building in Battersea High Street, opened in 1924, is used for community activities and events, usually – until the arrival of Covid-19 – by over 500 people a week. Its rooms are available for hire at affordable rates.
Katherine Low Settlement is grateful for the funding received from supporters, trusts and foundations to enable the charity to continue to reduce poverty and isolation and bring Battersea together.


Press contacts

Aaron Barbour
Katherine Low Settlement
Telephone: 020 7223 2845.
Email: [email protected]

Laurence Guinness
Chief Executive
The Childhood Trust
Telephone: 07507 880109
Email: [email protected]

Vanessa McKinley
Director of External Relations
Francis Holland School
Email: [email protected]

Mark Mitchell
Pattison Mitchell & Associates
Email: [email protected]

High resolution digital images available from Katherine Low Settlement press contacts.





Katherine Low Settlement

Summaries of case studies
KLS Love to Learn educational service for young people


Case Study: Salam and KLS L2L Club

Salam is 10 years old. She’s been raised by her mum, who escaped from Eritrea and came to Battersea in 2009 as a refugee. They live on the breadline and struggle. But you wouldn’t necessary know that the first time you meet them. Mother and daughter are warm and friendly and always very grateful for the help and support we provide.

Salam loves music and is confident and bright. She adores coming to Club as she says, ‘It’s fun, I get to do my homework and I can see my friends’. Her mum can’t help much with her homework as she has minimal education herself. We recently supported Salam to choose her secondary school. When asked about her recent SATs she remarked nonchalantly, ‘oh, they were easy’. As a result and with our help she’s secured a scholarship to a local independent school and can’t wait to start in September. She just needs to get through the summer and that’s where our summer programme comes in.


Case Study: Hamid and KLS L2L Club

Hamid is one of ten children living with his parents in an overcrowded 2-bedroom flat on a local council estate in Battersea. His parents escaped the war in Somalia, but have struggled to adapt to life in London. Hamid is a bright young boy and been coming to Club for a number of years. He loves reading, maths, art and music. We support him at Club to be more of himself and the best he possibly can. Last week Hamid’s support volunteer bought him a copy of ‘The Hobbit’. When he got it he said, ‘when my family is watching TV I’m going to go under my bed and read it’.

The holidays are difficult for Hamid as his parents have very little money or time. Holidays are often spent indoors, at home, with very little to do. However, this summer Hamid is really looking forward to trips to Brighton and central London, a local farm, the Science Museum, Holland Park Opera, and a camping trip, plus lots of daily activities including a textiles day, skateboarding and more. ‘I’m so excited. I can’t wait for school to finish and I can be at Club’. KLS provides food, a safe caring space and fun opportunities. We need the public’s support to make this happen.


Case Study: Yasmin and KLS L2L Club

Newly arrived refugee Yasmin is going on holiday for the first time with our Love to Learn team (pre-Coronavirus pandemic)

Yasmin, 15, joined our GCSE Study Group in January 2019. She had only just arrived in the UK from Somalia and had never had any formal education before starting school in Battersea. Yasmin has really thrived in the KLS Study Group academically as well as socially where she’d made new friends who support and encourage her. She lives with her large family, in overcrowded housing, who struggle financially. This summer Yasmin will join us on our three-night residential holiday. The first time ever that she’s ever been away on holiday. She will come with us to the beach (she has never been in the sea), visit a local farm, take part in workshops and volunteer with our younger groups. She’s really looking forward to this summer with us, “I am so excited and a bit scared because I don’t know anything about things to do in London and I never left my area”.

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We are committed to building stronger communities and enabling people to challenge themselves and find ways out of isolation through our varied community projects. There are so many ways you can support our work and help us to deliver our services to even more people.

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