The promotion of children's health and wellbeing: the contributions of England's charity sector

Kamaldeep S. Bhui, Lul A. Admasachew, Albert Persaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Sports and arts based services for children have positive impacts on their mental and physical health. The charity sector provides such services, often set up in response to local communities expressing a need. The present study maps resilience promoting services provided by children's charities in England. Specifically, the prominence of sports and arts activities, and types of mental health provisions including telephone help-lines, are investigated. Findings. The study was a cross-sectional web-based survey of chief executives, senior mangers, directors and chairs of charities providing services for children under the age of 16. The aims, objectives and activities of participating children's charities and those providing mental health services were described overall. In total 167 chief executives, senior managers, directors and chairs of charities in England agreed to complete the survey. From our sample of charities, arts activities were the most frequently provided services (58/167, 35%), followed by counselling (55/167, 33%) and sports activities (36/167, 22%). Only 13% (22/167) of charities expected their work to contribute to the health legacy of the 2012 London Olympics. Telephone help lines were provided by 16% of the charities that promote mental health. Conclusions. Counselling and arts activities were relatively common. Sports activities were limited despite the evidence base that sport and physical activity are effective interventions for well-being and health gain. Few of the charities we surveyed expected a health legacy from the 2012 London Olympics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188
Number of pages5
JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

© Bhui et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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