Following the Kids Company charity announcing its closure on Wednesday Lambeth council has been working hard to mitigate the impact on people in the borough.
The council has been in close contact with the Government, Southwark council, the Metropolitan police, London Councils, the Greater London Authority, health partners and Kids Company as this situation has emerged.
Kids Company was contracted by Lambeth council to run a One O’Clock Club and an adventure playground in the borough. Work is being carried out to re-open these services, run by the Council, hopefully by early next week, so the children and parents who rely on them are not adversely affected.
The council has also been working with the Government, national and local voluntary sector organisations to let children and their parents or carers know about alternate facilities and activities nearby that are open throughout the summer holidays.
Kids Company had also provided some school based activities to some of the borough’s schools. Those services are directly negotiated between the school and the charity. The council has already written to schools and is helping to ensure that affected activities will resume once the summer holidays are over with a new provider.
A council spokesman said: “Lambeth council has prioritised building extra capacity to pick up needs in the community that were previously responded to by Kids Company. That includes running a One O’Clock Club, an Adventure Playground, day time activities for young people and meals for those same young people.
“Actions already taken include ensuring that GP surgeries that are in the areas around Kids Company buildings have been contacted and notified of the charity’s closure. The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) in Denmark Hill is putting extra capacity into our initial assessment team at Lambeth council’s children’s social care team in response to any potential increase in demand.
“Similarly we are seeing if we need extra capacity in the adult mental health assessment team. The council has also opened a dialogue with schools and voluntary groups in the borough who may be affected by Kids Company’s closure.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure that children in Lambeth are not adversely affected by the closure of Kids Co, but still waiting for important information from the charity on the numbers of children and young people using their services, so we can fully plan for meeting their needs.”
People seeking information about Kids Company have been advised they can call Lambeth on 0207 926 9956 or 0207 926 6936. Alternatively an NSPCC helpline for people who may have been affected by recent allegations about Kids Company is available on 0808 800 5000.