Since its humble beginnings back in 1904 when it was known as the Leed’s Poor Children’s Holiday Camp Association, our charity has provided a respite holiday for 60,000 disadvantaged and socially excluded children from the local area.
Focusing on children between the ages of 7 and 13, the charity has continually campaigned for the unspoken voice of youngsters who suffer abuse or neglect in their daily lives, live in poverty or act as a young carer for a parent or relative.
Up until the end of the 2016 season, Silverdale had always been the destination of choice for the Leeds Children’s Charity, because it perfectly catered for the needs of its guests, with sea air, good food, sunshine and a rest from the pressure of living in a disadvantaged family. Through war, revolution, political unrest and economic breakdown, Leeds Children’s Charity had continued its work in the local area, only having to close temporarily on two occasions, on account of fire in 1919 and the outbreak of foot and mouth in 2002.
In 2016 the Trustees of the charity took the difficult decision to sell its Silverdale site, in the face of growing overhead costs and funding uncertainty, to guarantee the long term future of the charity and to enhance the delivery of service whilst still supporting the young people of Leeds. For the 2017 season Leeds Children’s Charity has teamed up with Lineham Farm and other locations to continue to roll out a wider variety of respite breaks.
The Lady Mayoress of Leeds
In 1904, Helen Currer Briggs, the Lady Mayoress of Leeds paved the way to providing free holidays for young children whose family income was less than a single pound. Since then it has been the right of every new Lady Mayoress to become the president of the charity.
An ex-Silverdaler herself, Frances McNeil went on to write a fascinating and insightful book entitled ‘Now I am a Swimmer’, which gives a detailed historical account of the first 100 years of the charity. Please click here for more details.