Adapted support amidst Covid-19

It's been six weeks since we shut our doors, but our support for the local community hasn't stopped. Whilst we aren't able to deliver the extensive activities that we know are so important for the development of children and young people, our mentoring and holistic support has continued.

It hasn't been easy. Our approach is based on building and maintaining relationships and trust, and that requires face-to-face communication whenever possible. Thankfully, because our approach is also based on giving long-term support, it is precisely those established relationships that have allowed us to adapt our delivery to our new environment. This is as much a testament to the people using our services as it is to our staff and volunteers.

With the suspension of our normal services, we furloughed the majority of our staff in order to ensure that we're in the financial position to open our doors, when the time comes. As we develop new approaches to deliver support remotely, we've un-furloughed some staff and will phase in the remainder of the team as service delivery increases or when we resume 'normal' services, in whatever form they take.

Our staff, volunteers and supporters have been incredible in these unprecedented times. This isn't the first time they've been asked to rise to a very difficult, extraordinary challenge, and we couldn't be prouder of what they're accomplishing, despite all of the hurdles in place.

Food Deliveries

We are using our regular food deliveries from Felix Project, FareShare, Tesco and City Harvest (normally used for our cooking projects) to put together food parcels for 20 of our most vulnerable families. These are delivered contact-free twice weekly, and have been a lifeline for at-risk families who are unable to leave home to access foodbanks or use their food vouchers.

Virtual Classroom

We have launched our Virtual Classroom, which has taken the approach of our Homework Club one step further and seen our homework support volunteers turned into teachers and tutors, working online one-on-one and in small groups with local children.

These sessions are supervised by our team and have been a great way for the children to stay in touch while getting vital support on school work, which is assigned with only a portion of the guidance available through the classroom, leaving many children unable to complete the work on their own.

The next stage of this project is addressing the shortage of IT equipment (computers and smartphones) and project supplies such as art materials.

Toy and Game Drops

Many of our generous supporters have answered our calls for support, offering generous donations of toys, games, crafts and more to help local families who are struggling to cope in cramped housing with little or no access to outside space. The toys and games have been delivered contact-free to local families and have been a welcome distraction, helping parents to keep their children engaged and entertained.

Virtual Man Cave

Man Cave, our successful school-based mentoring programme, works with some of the most at-risk boys and young men in local primary and secondary schools. This programme was temporarily suspended with the closure of schools, but, with our delivery partners West London Zone, we’ll be resuming Man Cave and Boy Cave online, holding one-to-one sessions and small group sessions to ensure we’re continuing this programme’s vital mental health and wellbeing support at this very difficult time.

Emergency Fund

Our generous supporters have helped us to establish an Emergency Fund, giving our team access to funding to help families with emergency supplies and equipment that cannot be sourced through other means. Held in-house, the fund can be accessed quickly and without red tape, ensuring we can support the local community efficiently and effectively.

Care Calls

Our team is in regular contact with our service users, making weekly (or more often) calls to those we know who are struggling most at this very difficult time. While the calls are often simply checking in, they’ve also taken the form of cooking lessons and singing sessions and have played an important role in enabling us to identify issues as they arise, aiding us in referring service users onto appropriate support services, such as foodbanks and Social Services.

Summer Programmes

Normally the summer at RPT is filled with week-long residentials, day trips, in-house programmes, training sessions and days filled with art, music and sport at our Play Centre at Avondale Park Primary School. Throughout the summer, we work with more than 400 children and young people, helping to engage them in positive activities and helping them to foster positive attitudes and behaviours while reducing their likelihood of being involvement in antisocial behaviour.

With so much uncertainty surrounding the coming months, we’re developing plans to run versions of our summer programmes remotely, including delivering online training session in music, fashion and photography, online mentoring programmes and continuing our Virtual Classroom. We’re also in discussions to review whether our summer Play Centre at Avondale Park Primary School could be used as to support Key Workers with young children. Our plans are incorporating feedback from the children and young people who will be using these services, as well as research on the changing needs of children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic.


RPT is more than 80% funded by fundraised income through events, major donors, trusts and foundations, and in these very uncertain times, we don’t yet know what the impact will be on our fundraising. Our three annual fundraising events alone make up 50% of our income for the year, so we are adapting our fundraising plan to mitigate the impact of these events being cancelled or changed to meet ongoing social distancing guidance. The people who make up RPT—children, young people, parents, volunteers, supporters and staff—are the most important thing to RPT’s future, so any decisions will be taking with these people in mind.

Our new event schedule is as follows, and will be reviewed as and when new government guidance is released:

  • Hilton London Kensington Beach Party: 19 September
  • Portobello Dinner: 22 September
  • Brain Game: 8 October
  • Christmas Market: 17 & 18 November

We’re incredibly grateful for any and all support we receive. If you would like to find out how you can support us through this difficult period, please get in touch:


30th April 2020