Here at Citizen Films we’re big supporters of ChildHope, an international charity for street children.

There has never been a more urgent time to support ChildHope’s work, and to mark a quarter of a century working for children around the world, the charity held an art auction, hosted by patron Trevor Eve, at the Union Club in Soho on Tuesday 11th November. We had a variety of lots, including a rare sketch by actor Timothy Spall, who is playing famed artist Turner in a new film.

It was a great night in the run up to Christmas, and a good introduction to ChildHope’s work, with drinks and canap├ęs, a short film about what the charity does, a talk by Trevor Eve, and an art auction, all at The Union, a wonderful private members club in the heart of Soho.

Tim Spall -“ChildHope is a brilliant charity which works with the most vulnerable, the most desperate, the most innocent. It is hard to know what you can do when faced with the multiple horrors that we see Ebola wrecking on Sierra Leone, but helping support organisations which work with the orphans of this massive tragedy is a start.”

ChildHope was founded 25 years ago, to tackle the problem of children living and working on the streets. It works with partner organisations in countries all over the world to alleviate child suffering offering them education, shelter, security and hope.

One of the countries ChildHope focuses on is Sierra Leone, which has seen a huge rise in the number of desperate orphaned children over recent months as a result of the Ebola epidemic ravaging the country. Children orphaned by Ebola are stigmatised and often abandoned by their communities to fend for themselves.

Street Child of Sierra Leone, ChildHope’s long-term partner organisation, is on the frontline of the crisis. Street Child of Sierra Leone usually works with orphans to try and find them families and help them get back into education offering literacy classes. However, since the outbreak of Ebola in May 2014 these gains have been put at risk. Literacy classes have had to stop along with other project activities as efforts to contain the outbreak and to focus on the immediate needs of the many children left with no support have been the priority. SCSL have through emergency external funding provided food packs to over 1000 street children and 150 quarantined families in Freetown during the recent three day quarantine of the city. They also support families who, although already impoverished, have taken in orphans, assisting with basic needs such as food and counselling.