The Royal Association articles highlight a member of The Royal Family and spotlights some of their charities and patronages. The Royal Family have been lending their names to organisations through formal patronages since the 18th Century and the first recorded patronage was King George II’s involvement with the Society of Antiquaries. Members of The Royal Family are invited to become patrons by a whole host of charities and organisations and between them, The Royal Family hold approximately 3000 patronages of charitable organisations.
This article will look at Her Majesty The Queen’s role as Patron of Action for Children.
Action for Children is a children’s charity based in the UK and is dedicated to helping the most neglected and vulnerable children throughout the nation. Through their work, Action for Children seek to break the cycle of deprivation whilst also challenging injustice and helping children to overcome the obstacles in their lives which hold them back.
Action for Children was previously known as the National Children’s Home after its origins way back in 1869 on the streets of London when young Methodist minister, Thomas Bowman Stephenson, decided to take action when he saw the plight of homeless children. Fast forward over 140 years and after several name changes, Action for Children is now working with over 300,000 children and young people whose families need support, who are in care, who are disabled or just experiencing difficulties. In the present day, Action for Children is the leading UK provider of family and community centre’s, children’s services in rural areas and services for young people leaving care.
Her Majesty The Queen’s involvement with Action for Children began in 1967 when she was invited to become Patron of National Children’s Home, a patronage she accepted and to this day still holds, though now she is Patron of Action for Children. Since 1967, Her Majesty has attended many events in her capacity as Patron including in 1969, National Children’s Home centenary celebrations and in Silver Jubilee Year signing a portrait.
Even after the Silver Jubilee, The Queen’s involvement with the charity has been substantial. At the NCH Royal Gala, The Queen was the guest of honour as well as being in attendance at the 120th birthday of the charity and 150th birthday of its founder in 1989. As well as being involved with formal events, The Queen also visited Durrington High School to see the work of Action for Children and the display of the charity’s West Sussex Family Work whilst also getting the chance to meet staff and families who have connections with the project.
At Hillsborough Castle in 2010, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh hosted a reception to celebrate ten years of Action for Children’s work in Northern Ireland. More recently The Queen sent Action for Children a personal message on the occasion of their 145th anniversary.
As well as having Her Majesty The Queen as their Patron, Action for Children also has many famous faces as ambassadors including Angela Rippon, Mary Nightingale and Michael Buerk.