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About Our Charity

We raise funds in the UK to help the most vulnerable children in Romania and provide specialist hospice care, educational community outreach and respite care for children, their families, and carers in Romania through our sister charity Copii în Dificultate.

Iustin & Petru

Who we are

Founded in 1990 and officially registered with the OSCR (Office of Scottish Charity Regulator) as SC039383, Children in Distress is a UK-based charity dedicated to supporting vulnerable children in Romania. Our roots trace back to a year of volunteer service before our formal establishment, where we provided urgent assistance in Romania with a team of committed volunteers.

As we celebrate our 35th anniversary in 2024, we stand proud of our partnership with Fundația Copii în Dificultate, our Romanian counterpart based in Bucharest. Together, we work tirelessly to uplift the lives of children, families, and caregivers in Romania.

Our Mission

At Children in Distress, we raise funds in the UK to support initiatives in Romania aimed at improving the lives of the most vulnerable children. Through our sister charity, Copii în Dificultate, we offer specialised hospice care, educational community outreach and respite services.

Our journey has seen us evolve from initially focusing on children with HIV/AIDS to providing comprehensive care including respite, palliative and end-of-life support. We take pride in nurturing some of the most skilled and experienced paediatric nurses in Romania.

Our History

The genesis of our organisation stems from the compassionate response to the crisis of care witnessed during Romania's transition from communism in 1989. Shocking images of abandoned children moved individuals like the Rev. Dr John Walmsley from St. Laurence Church, Barkingside to act. The Association for Helping Children in Romania was thus born, later evolving into Fundația Copii în Dificultate.

St. Margaret’s Hospice and Children’s Centre emerged as a beacon of excellence, providing specialised care to children with complex needs. Over the years, we have expanded our reach, establishing multiple centres that have set new standards in children's care.

Our Work Today

Our focus spans three key areas, each aimed at fostering a supportive environment for children and their families. Casa Maria, our Children’s Family House, carries forward the legacy of St. Margaret’s by providing care for children with severe disabilities. Our Community Education Outreach Programme offers holistic education initiatives, while PineView Retreat Lodge envisions a future of social integration and respite care for children and young people of all abilities.

At Children in Distress, our commitment remains unwavering as we continue to strive for the well-being and happiness of every child.

Casa Maria building

Casa Maria

Our flagship Children’s Family House in Romania.

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Community project

Community Education Outreach

Our programme for students at risk of school dropout from disadvantaged rural areas.

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Pineview Lodge Drawing 2

PineView Retreat Lodge

Our vision for the future is the PineView Retreat Lodge, a respite centre for children and caregivers.

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