Charity Initiatives

Initiatives to support vulnerable young people

The Alex Timpson Trust is always introducing new initiatives that help children to shine. Find out how we’re supporting fostered and adopted children!

Charity Donations

Free Holiday Homes

Free Jobs Scheme

Mockingbird Grants

Just some of the charity donations we’ve made

We donate to like-minded organisations to enrich the lives of vulnerable young people and raise awareness of attachment.

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Free holidays for foster families

A relaxing holiday is an invaluable bonding experience, so the Alex Timpson Trust offers free holidays to foster families across the country. Here’s how it all works:

Free Holiday Homes

Based in Devon, Wales and North Yorkshire, foster families can stay in one of our beautiful UK holiday homes free of charge.

Apply Online

Nominate a foster family (even if it’s your own) holiday directly through our website. Applications closed until 2024.

Panel Decision

Once applications close, our panel then awards the free holiday to the most deserving foster family.

Free jobs scheme

It was through Alex’s inspiration that we developed our free jobs scheme. 

The Timpson Group has raised over £4 million for children’s charities by simply offering our smaller services for free, and then asking customers if they’d like to leave a donation in our charity box. 

Over the years, several children’s charities have benefited from our free jobs scheme including the NSPCC, Childline and most recently, After Adoption.

This simple approach is now being used in support of the Alex Timpson Trust. Every shop will have a collecting box and as always, our great colleagues are free to use their initiative to raise money for the Alex Timpson Trust in whatever way they wish.

£2000 grant for Mockingbird families

In support of The Fostering Network’s terrific Mockingbird programme, the Alex Timpson Trust offers £2000 grants to Mockingbird families. 

Each family can spend their grant in any way they feel is best to strengthen bonds or provide happy memories. For example, our first Mockingbird grant was spent on a fun family trip to London, somewhere the children hadn’t visited before.

Every quarter, one Mockingbird family will be chosen to receive this grant. Simply click the link below to submit your application!


What is the Mockingbird programme?

Mockingbird is an award-winning pioneering programme delivered by The Foster Network, designed to replicate the support and relationships a typical extended family would provide. 

Each Mockingbird family is placed in a “constellation” group of 6 to 10 other “satellite” families, which is led by a “hub home” carer that builds strong relationships between all the families in their constellation. 

The hub home carer organises meetings, events and get-togethers for the families every month, and can also provide emergency sleepovers and daycare.

The impact of Mockingbird’s family model

The Mockingbird Family Model is all about offering foster families a caring, supportive and resilient community. Here’s how it’s benefited families so far: 

  • Children have a reduced number of foster family moves
  • Helping foster carers to stay carers for longer
  • Children and carers have a network of strong and genuine relationships that replicate support offered by an extended family
  • Children spend time with their brothers and sisters
  • Children no longer have to stay with unknown families for respite
  • Foster carers build new skills and relationships, increasing foster carer satisfaction
  • Helping to recruit new foster families
  • There is a community of support for times of difficulty, transition and crises
  • mproved relationships between carers and birth family

Free books on attachment, written by Sir John Timpson

Based on 30 years’ experience as a foster carer, Sir John Timpson has written three useful, jargon-free guides on attachment. These books are available for FREE at any Timpson, Max Spielmann and Johnsons Cleaners shop – or can be bought separately online!

A Guide To Attachment

Written for foster families and anyone who wants to learn more about the disorder, John explains how attachment difficulties can impact a child’s behaviour and their ability to socialise and learn successfully. 

The book highlights some key signs to look out for that may signal a child has an attachment disorder.


How to Create a Positive Future

Aimed at young people with Attachment, this little book offers some simple hints and tips that young people themselves can put in place to help them thrive and create a positive future as they grow.


Looking After Looked After Children

Educating the educators is one of the primary aims of the Alex Timpson Trust. This handy little guide for teachers is just the first step in raising greater awareness of Attachment in schools. Feel free to pop into one of our stores and share with a teacher you know.


Hey, get to know Timpson Group even better