News: 2014

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Kids Company launch 'See the Child' campaign

24 June 2014

Damien Hirst voices support for Kids Company's petition to overhaul social care and mental health services for vulnerable children in the UK.

As part of Kids Company's campaign to raise awareness of 'See the Child', supporters have released images of themselves as children.

Here, a six-year old Hirst is pictured at his Holy Communion in 1971.

© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd., All Rights Reserved, 2014

On the launch of Kids Company's 'See the Child' campaign, founder Camila Batmanghelidjh  explains: 'For too long, too many children who have been harmed have been denied appropriate help. The truth is that for decades there has been no genuine political will or leadership to change the system. When a child dies, or groups of children are sexually abused, there is always a call for a Public Inquiry. They recommend improvements within current structures, and often attribute blame to individual workers without acknowledging that fundamentally the delivery of care to vulnerable children in Britain is not fit for purpose. The time has come to tackle the apathy that has led to children and workers feeling depleted and humiliated. Politicians react to public pressure, so our campaign is about mobilising the public to demand that the current system, which repeatedly fails vulnerable children, be changed and made to work.'

Kids Company's campaign, backed by a report by the Centre for Social Justice, intends to make these children visible by revealing the truth and thus mobilising the public. The new model will be designed around the needs of the child and will be piloted in two boroughs and then replicated nationally.

The 'See the Child' petition can be signed either online at seethechild.org or by texting “I SEE” to 63000 (standard network rates apply, no donation required).

In February, Hirst – a long-time supporter of Kids Company's work – auctioned a Mickey Mouse painting which raised over £900,000 for the charirty.

Find out more about the campaign.