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Give them a reason to smile

Together we can make a difference

Christmas should be a time of joy and celebration. But for some children, young people and families we work with, it's often fraught with emotional difficulties, extra pressures and even danger. For them, Christmas provides few reasons to smile.

Nearly 4 million children live in poverty in the UK

65% of boys with a convicted parent go on to offend

60% of teenage parents are separated

This Christmas we want to give the most vulnerable children and young people something to smile about.

It may sound simple. But to do this we need your support.

Donate now

Angie's Story

When your child doesn't smile you feel like you've failed as a parent...

Read her story

We've been helping children and their families for almost 150 years.

We know that but for the generosity of one woman, the passion and drive of one man and the Christian faith that they shared, we would not be changing young lives today.

With a gift of £20,000 from Anne Hillyard, an Anglican priest's widow, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was able to realise the vision to ‘do more for the Lord in this great city' and opened the first Spurgeons orphanage to care for ‘fatherless children' of his day in 1867.

When our last home closed in 1979, partnerships with churches and local authorities enabled us to develop our work with vulnerable children and their families in disadvantaged communities.

And that's where you'll find us today. At the heart of communities – listening, learning and building relationships to make a lasting difference.

Our work has changed considerably since the start but our motivation has remained the same. We journey with children and their families to help them to find long-lasting solutions to the difficulties and challenges they face. We now deliver almost 100 high-quality services supporting over 50,000 children and young people and their families each year.

Many people of faith from the Baptist and other denominations or traditions, continue to help us honour the legacy of Charles Haddon Spurgeon and Anne Hillyard. On behalf of the children and families we support – our heartfelt thanks.

Learn more about our work:

Young Carers | Families & Criminal Justice | Teenage Parents | Children's Centres | Family Support

Prisons Week

Build hope this November and help us give smiles to children, young people and families we work with affected by imprisonment.

Prisons Week


3x more likely to develop behavioural problems

2x as likely to develop anti-social or delinquent behaviour

65% of boys with a convicted parent go on to offend


Today we deliver support through:

The London Prisons Visiting Service across all eight London prisons

We receive more than 230,000 visitors each year which includes over 36,000 children.

Invisible Walls, our innovative project for fathers in HMP Winchester and their families

We'll help 100 dads a year through the Invisible Walls programme

Sisters, our own mentoring service for young female offenders

More than 100 young female offenders have been partnered with mentors


Each year our volunteers give more than 2,600 hours of their own time to help support families of prisoners in London. And our close ties with local colleges and universities mean the service benefits from a further 1,100 hours a year given by students in placements.

This November

As we start the build up to Christmas, we particularly remember the children, young people and families we work with affected by imprisonment. It's a time often fraught with emotional difficulties, extra pressures and even danger. For them, Christmas provides few reasons to smile.

We are proud to support Prisons Week, a national week of prayer which starts on Prisons Sunday 16 November, to support and raise awareness of the needs of prisoners, their families and communities, victims of crime, prison staff and volunteers and those working in criminal justice.

On Friday in Prisons Week, we are asked to pray for the families of prisoners. Please pray for the children and families we see every day through our vital services. Particularly remembering that we want to build hope in those we help – giving them a reason to smile.

With your continued support, we really can make a difference.


The theme for Prisons Week 2014 is Building Hope.

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. 1 Thessalonians 5 v11

Prisons week resources

This year we've prepared some resources for you to support get involved in Prisons Week – either individually, as a church or as a group. We hope that they are flexible and varied enough for you to use any part or all of them to raise awareness and support Prisons Week.

  • Spurgeons Prisons Week prayer bookmark
    with prayers and information about the children and young people we help

  • Donation envelopes
    You can order donation envelopes from us to use in your service. These give everyone the opportunity to enclose cash, register for gift aid so we can gain an extra 25% for every gift received, and also give people the option to donate by card. All the information they need is included on the envelope. Remember if people do complete the envelopes to send these into us too! Find out more about donating to us

  • Prisons Week worship resources
    including prayers hymns and scripture references

  • Prisons Week slide
    to use on presentations or screens

  • Prisons Week general poster
    to use to add a contact name or local information

  • Prisons Week advertising poster and leaflet
    or order from us now by calling 01933 417388

Resources for groups and Churches

This year we have developed worship resources to remind us that God gave us all a reason to smile.

Resources for groups and Churches

This year we have developed worship resources to remind us that God gave us all a reason to smile, when he gave us the gift of eternal love and grace in Jesus, encouraging his people to work together faithfully in his name to make a difference in his world.

We hope that they are flexible and varied enough for you to use any part or all of them in the lead up to and including Christmas.

  • Donation envelopes
    You can order donation envelopes from us to use in your service. These give everyone the opportunity to enclose cash, register for gift aid so we can gain an extra 25% for every gift received, and also give people the option to donate by card. All the information they need is included on the envelope. Remember if people do complete the envelopes to send these into us too! Find out more about donating to us

  • Service outline including prayers for all four Advent Sundays
    Action stories, games, crafts and reflections to be used in all age worship, Sunday schools, youth groups and cell groups. Suitable for all ages big and small.

  • All ages activities and ideas
    Action stories, games, crafts and reflections to be used in all age worship, Sunday schools, youth groups and cell groups. Suitable for all ages big and small.

  • More all age activities and ideas
    Lots more games, stories, crafts, prayers and reflections to use with the whole church family. Including ideas and suggestions for the young, primary and secondary age groups and all ages.

  • General poster
    A poster to put up on your church notice board to help people see the work Spurgeons does.

  • Hymn suggestions

  • Smiling Quiz
    An all age quiz to use in your service, coffee mornings or even at home! How many can you answer? Use the powerpoint visual below for one of the questions.

  • Smiling Quiz visual
    Whose smile is it anyway? A powerpoint visual to use – or even to print out.

  • Smile Please Christmas nativity play
    Can Zach Snapper, apprentice for Pics and Shots, get his big break as official photographer for The First Nativity? Find out in Smile Please! our new nativity drama. This can be used in its entirely or adapted to suit your audience.

  • Powerpoint slides
    Use these slides as a background for your service slides, to populate with hymns or to use to share the work Spurgeons does with your congregation.

  • Fundraising ideas
    Want ideas for Christmas fundraisers for your whole church family? Here you will find lots of ideas and suggestions for all ages. Don't forget to check out how to donate your money to use below.

  • Poster to advertise your nativity / Spurgeons service
    Want ideas for Christmas fundraisers for your whole church family? Here you will find lots of ideas and suggestions for all ages. Don't forget to check out how to donate your money to use below. Holding a service in support of Spurgeons? Using our theme this year for your nativity or Christmas service? Use this poster to advertise when it is. If you need anything else to advertise your event call us!