Giving thousands of disadvantaged children a fun day out.
The first National Rotary KidsOut Day took place in 1990 and since then it has turned into the biggest single outing for disadvantaged children in the UK. With more than 29,000 children participating in 2016, the National Day Out is run nationally in conjunction with Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (Rotary GB&I) and is always on the second Wednesday in June.
To make the National Rotary KidsOut Day the success that it is, more than 10,000 Rotarians volunteer on the day at over 100 venues. Whether they live with critical health issues, in refuge or with a disability, children across the country are taken on a fun day out to the zoo, a theme park or even the seaside, often for the first time in their lives.
Building on the success of the National Rotary KidsOut Day, a second annual big day out was launched in 2015 for the same groups and takes place on the first Tuesday in December.
How did it all begin?
Lady Grantchester, of the Moore’s family and owners of Littlewoods, suggested to the Rotary Club in Kingston, where she lived, that they take disadvantaged children on a day out. She approached Rotarians Peter Jarvis and Graham Child about the idea. A deal was struck, and in 1990 the Kingston Rotary Club and Kingston Littlewoods store organised an outing for 200 children to go to Thorpe Park. The day was so successful that Lady Grantchester offered a one-off grant to any Rotary Club willing to take part in a similar event on the second Wednesday in June. Overnight 800 Rotary Clubs from all over the UK joined in and the National Rotary KidsOut Day was created. It immediately became the biggest single outing for disadvantaged children in the UK, with tens of thousands of children taken out on the second Wednesday every June.
In 1999, KidsOut registered as a charity to better comply with new legislation, such as the Child Protection Act, duty of care and H&S, as well as to raise funds to help defray the extra costs imposed by the legislation. This new status also helped organisers to negotiate cheaper access to theme parks for the children and opened up new opportunities to reach out to the UK’s most vulnerable children in other ways. In 2007 the charity developed Phyzzpod to benefit children with physical and learning difficulties, and in 2008 it started Toy Box for children relocated due to domestic abuse. World Stories began in 2010 to support the growing number of children speaking English as an additional language, and in 2012 KidsOut launched Fun Days to support even more vulnerable children with happy memories throughout the year.
By 2015, KidsOut became the only charity nationally to support every child in a Women’s aid federation refuge. Providing toys, days out, workshops and more.