We are Northorpe...

image showing 60th anniversary logo along with other images of Northorpe projects and events

Northorpe Hall Child and Family Trust was set up in December 1963 to provide weekend residential support for young boys who were living in the most deprived parts of Leeds and at risk of going into care or into the prison system. At Northorpe Hall, the boys took part in outdoor and creative activities, living beside staff and sharing the tasks of cooking, cleaning and washing up.

"If it wasn't for Northorpe, I'd have gone into care. It made me feel there was some point in trying."

Northorpe’s approach was informal and provided safety and security by setting clear boundaries and expectations. Direct and honest conversations helped the boys understand the impact of their behaviour, improve their self-esteem and develop positive relationships. The work was revolutionary, involving whole families, local authorities and probation officers. The emphasis of the work was prevention, and the boys were given a unique opportunity to change

"It is difficult to describe the feel of life at Northorpe Hall. In many ways it is an ordinary experience of living together, but for many of the boys it is in fact an extraordinary experience."

Our charitable aims are largely unchanged from sixty years ago but, as we’ve learned more about mental health and the long term impacts if left untreated we’ve evolved the support we provide and broadened its reach.

In an ideal world...

There wouldn’t be mental illness. But the world isn’t perfect, so we are bringing about change by focussing on three things.

  • Ensuring children, young people and families receive the support they need, when they need it.
  • Early-years intervention to prevent the need for therapeutic or clinical help later in life
  • Specialist services for those who continue to be the most disadvantaged or need the most support.
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It takes a village

We involve parents, carers, schools and the wider community because we know that every adult in a child’s life, has a role to play in helping them develop self-esteem, confidence and resilience.

Our training workshops help adults spot the early signs of difficulty and learn the skills needed to support the child or young person in their care. Our parent workshops connect mums and dads so that they know that they’re not alone.

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Through their eyes

We recognise that children and young people experience the world differently and we provide safe spaces for them to connect with specialists and each other to make sense of how they’re feeling. Across everything we do, we encourage, guide, listen, learn and advocate for children and young people