Our history

Lady Grantchester, of the Moore’s family and owners of Littlewoods, suggested to the Rotary Club in Kingston, where she lived, that they take disadvantaged children on a day out. She approached Rotarians Peter Jarvis and Graham Child about the idea. A deal was struck, and in 1990 the Kingston Rotary Club and Kingston Littlewoods store organised an outing for 200 children to go to Thorpe Park. The day was so successful that Lady Grantchester offered a one off grant to any Rotary Club willing to take part in a similar event on the 2nd Wednesday in June. Overnight 800 Rotary Clubs from all over the UK joined in and the National Rotary KidsOut Day was created. It immediately became the biggest single outing for disadvantaged children in the UK, with tens of thousands of children taken out on the second Wednesday every June.

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In 1999, KidsOut registered as a charity to better comply with new legislation, such as the Child Protection Act, duty of care and H&S, as well as to raise funds to help defray the extra costs imposed by the legislation. This new status also helped organisers to negotiate cheaper access to theme parks for the children and opened up new opportunities to reach out to the UK’s most vulnerable children in other ways. In 2007 the charity developed Phyzzpod to benefit children with physical and learning difficulties, and in 2008 it started Toy Box for children relocated due to domestic abuse. World Stories began in 2010 to support the growing number of children speaking English as an additional language, and in 2012 KidsOut launched Fun Days to support even more vulnerable children with happy memories throughout the year.

By 2015, KidsOut became the only charity nationally to support every child in a Women’s aid federation refuge. Providing toys, days out, workshops and more.

Rotarians and Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland continue to be at the heart of KidsOut and the National Day Out, having helped to shape KidsOut into an efficient and effective charity.

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