The Promise

During the Summer of 2002 Sarah Settelen and Iona Sutherland worked as volunteers in an orphanage in Russia. The children they cared for left an indelible mark on both of them. The children are struggling to survive in a system that is overwhelmed by ever increasing numbers. Some of them may make it through the system, possibly even with a basic education, but for most, particularly those with special needs, the future is bleak. Special needs children are unlikely to receive any education and minimal therapy and face a lifetime of prejudice and neglect. While they were there Sarah and Iona silently promised that they would do whatever they could to improve the children’s chances. The Promise is the direct result.

In 2004 BWCF donated £5,000 to help get The Promise established. In 2005, The Promise recruited Karen Edwards as project manager to establish a team of Portage workers at the baby home in Ryazan, a large town about three hours drive south east of Moscow. Portage is a highly successful pre-school education system for children with special needs. Following an approach by Sarah, BWCF has agreed to fund the salaries of the local Portage workers for three years at a cost of over £25,000. If all goes to plan there will be six Portage workers in Ryazan by 2008 and an additional two in Yerlatma, a nearby town.

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How to apply for a grant
Complete List of Grants

A selection of grant recipients is listed below. Click on the logo for a link to their website.

Rainbow Trust



Reedham Children's Trust

Ambitious About Autism

PACE Centre

Rainbow Centre

Richard House



Dame Vera Lynn Trust

Bobath Centre

Elizabeth Foundation

Shooting Star

Disability Challengers

Hope House


SMA Support UK



The Barbara Ward Children’s Foundation

85 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1AE

Tel: 020 7222 7040 | Fax: 020 7222 6208

Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity No: 1089783 Registered in England No: 4213963