Our History

Founded in 1981, our charity has a long and vibrant history of helping children and their families.

Here, our CEO, Pauline recalls how we started, our achievements and how we continue to grow and add more services.

Hello, I’m Pauline Thomas, the Chief Executive Officer of The Lloyd Park Children’s Charity and I’d like to welcome you to our website and tell you about the work of our charity.

Pauline Thomas, CEO

When I moved to Aveling Park Road in 1977 there was nowhere for people to go with their children, so I opened up my home to friends and other families. Together we set up a range of activities: keep-fit, coffee mornings and play sessions and Halloween and Bonfire parties. We used the Playscheme in a gardener’s shed and double-decker bus in Lloyd Park.

In 1981 the bus was under threat of closure, so we formed the Lloyd Park Action Group and started our campaign to improve services for the community. As a result, we were given use of five portacabins in Lloyd Park and in 1984 we formed The Lloyd Park Parent and Toddler Group; with play sessions every weekday afternoon.

The front of the Lloyd Park centre

The Lloyd Park Centre

Since this time we have continued to campaign and develop services to support local families and the needs we see across our community, and there have been so many successes. From raising the funds to employ our first staff members, securing grants of £1.3 million in 2010 for the building in Lloyd Park and in 2016 winning the contract for Children and Family Centres to enable us to support families across Waltham Forest. But my fondest memory was when the community came out to support our charity after our building was completely destroyed by a fire in 1992. When I first saw the devastation I thought it was the end of the charity, but our community worked together to get services back up and running within a week.

There have been some amazing people involved over the years who have helped make this charity so special. The staff are so critical to its success but because I am at the head I have been nominated for a few awards. It was an absolute privilege to be awarded an MBE by Prince Charles in 2011 and I accepted it on behalf of everyone involved in Lloyd Park over the past 35 years.

If you are a family in the area who would like to know more about the support we offer, do pick up the phone and speak to us or pop in and see us in person at one of our hubs dotted around the borough. Coming to one of our friendly play sessions, such as You and Your New Baby or Dad’s Club, is a great way to have fun together, meet other families and access any other services we offer. We publish a timetable in Roleplay magazine, as well as here on our website.

We hope to see you very soon.
Pauline