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Our Story

Read All About it!

Making news since the 80's!

Our founder, Pauline, talks about starting the charity

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, play sessions and Halloween and Bonfire parties. We also 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. 
Since this time we have continued to campaign and develop community-led services to support local families, and there have been so many successes. From raising the funds to employ our first staff members, securing grants of £1.3 million in 2003 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.

My fondest memory of the community coming together to support the charity was in 1992 after our building was completely destroyed by a fire. 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.  It was quite incredible how everyone rallied together to help us.

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'm the figurehead 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.

Pauline Thomas
Founder of The Lloyd Park Children's Charity

Key points in our history

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