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Childhood First

The Making Whole Appeal

If you have had a profoundly hurtful and damaging childhood, what chance do you have for any happiness, security or success, now or in the future?

Childhood First provide abused and neglected children with the safe and loving home they have never had, and the therapeutic care they need to overcome the trauma of their past and build bright and happy futures.

They take the children and young people who are most damaged, whom the care system has found so challenging that they turn, as a last resort, to Childhood First. Over 30% of them have had more than seven foster placements within a year, and 90% suffer from diagnosed emotional disorders.

Yet after an average placement of just 2 years with Childhood First, they are building lives as happy, contributing citizens.

The issue of abused and vulnerable children is of course highly sensitive. You want the audience for your fundraising appeals to appreciate the horrible lives the children have had up to this point, and naturally, the difference that Childhood First makes. But you also want to avoid sensationalism, and cliché. Moreover, the requirements of confidentiality mean that any photographs featuring the ‘children’ have to be of models, which makes the true stories you’re telling seem less authentic.

Our approach was to use illustration, sensitively drawn to evoke the atmosphere of the stories, and avoiding the fakeness of model photography. This allowed the power of the stories and the cause to come through.

We named their renovation and rebuilding appeal The Making Whole Appeal and this leaflet is envisaged as the first element in a multi-channel fundraising campaign.