Kids Company

Peace of mind, one nueron at a time

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Give a vulnerable child peace of mind.

Our virtual brain is a beacon of hope for the thousands of children we support.

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Kids Company

Peace of mind, one neuron at a time

Kids Company is a registered charity No. 1068298. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 03442083. Registered address 34 Decima Street, London, SE1 4QQ

Virtual Brain

Welcome to the Kids Company "Peace of Mind" virtual brain.

You are currently on the landing page for the virtual brain and you’ll need to select and area to begin exploring:

  • Brain Stem

    The brain stem controls unconscious functions such as blood pressure, swallowing, breathing and heartbeat. All information to and from our body passes through the brain stem on the way to or from the brain.

    Enter theBrain Stem

  • Cerebellum

    The cerebellum is involved in the coordination of voluntary motor movement, balance and equilibrium and muscle tone. It is located just above the brain stem and toward the back of the brain.

    Enter theCerebellum

  • Visual Cortex

    The Visual Cortex is responsible for processing visual signals such as colour discrimination and for the discrimination of movement.

    Enter theVisual Cortex

  • Wernickes Area

    Wernicke's area is the region of the brain where spoken language is understood. Language recognition, comprehension and processing occur in this area.

    Enter theWernickes Area

  • Gustatory Area

    The Gustatory Area controls the sense of taste and responds to sweetness, saltiness, bitterness and sourness.

    Enter theGustatory Area

  • Parietal Lobe

    The parietal Lobe is one of the four major lobes of the brain and is involved in sensations of pain and touch, spatial orientation and speech.

    Enter theParietal Lobe

  • Somatic Sensory Cortex

    The Somatic Sensory Cortex receives information from skin receptors, distinguishing different types of sensations such as touch and temperature.

    Enter theSomatic Sensory Cortex

  • Motor Cortex

    The Motor Cortex s is involved in sending the sending of instructions, planning and control of muscles to cause voluntary movements.

    Enter theMotor Cortex

  • Frontal Lobe

    The Frontal Lobe contains areas that control personality, thinking, speech, behaviour and memory.

    Enter theFrontal Lobe

  • Prefrontal Cortex

    The Prefrontal cortex controls decision making, the ability to plan, reason, concentrate, and adjust and control social behaviour.

    Enter thePrefrontal Cortex

  • Cerebral Hemisphere

    The largest part of the human brain, associated with higher brain function such as thought and action. Controls most conscious and mental activities.

    Enter theCerebral Hemisphere

  • Auditory Cortex

    The Auditory Cortex distinguishes and processes sound qualities such as loudness and tone and frequency.

    Enter theAuditory Cortex

  • Amygdale

    The Amygdalae Processes emotional reactions and stores emotional memories. It regulates emotions and guides emotion related behaviour.

    Enter theAmygdale

  • Hippocampus

    The Hippocampus plays a major part in the formation and retention of memory and learning. It may function as a memory "gateway" through which new memories must pass before entering permanent storage in the brain.

    Enter theHippocampus

  • Thalamus

    The Thalamus receives sensation and movement signals from nerve impulses and relays to them cerebral cortex.

    Enter theThalamus

  • Hypothalamus

    The Hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger and thirst. It also regulates the hormone system throughout the body.

    Enter theHypothalamus

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PEACE of mind, one neuron at a time


  • Our virtual brain is a beacon of hope for the thousands of vulnerable children we support.

    What is the brain Watch the video

    Welcome to Kids Company's PEACE OF MIND campaign. We need you and your social network to help us raise £5m because we urgently need to change the way vulnerable children are supported in the U.K.

    Most children referred to social services in the UK are not being given the child protection they deserve. Last year 547,000 children in England were referred to Social Services because their circumstances were a serious cause for concern. The capacity of the current system to help is too small; only 37,900 children could be protected under a child protection plan. Most children at risk received no statutory protection. The current system is overwhelmed and is unable to ensure every child's safety.

    Kids Company needs your support so we can create the radical change in child welfare services that children at risk desperately need.

    Sustained child abuse and neglect has a devastating impact on a child's brain often creating a lifetime of vulnerability, tragically increasing the risk of suicide, violence, anti-social behaviour, depression and drug addiction.

    Our pioneering programme of research will demonstrate the effects of childhood maltreatment. Kids Company aims to stop the tragedy of child abuse by showing politicians the damaging consequences of failing to protect and support vulnerable children.

    We have developed an effective and affordable street level model of sustained and loving care that helps children enjoy happy and productive lives. With your support we want this model integrated into every social service department in the U.K.

    Join our unique brain network now and put children's futures first...

    Give a vulnerable child peace of mind.


    Watch the video

    No child is ever born a criminal or a killer. The abuse and neglect of children by adults can ruin a child's capacity to form loving relationships and manage their behaviours effectively. Kids Company is undertaking a pioneering programme of research that will investigate the tragic effects of childhood maltreatment on children's developing brains, looking at how and why these effects, if unaddressed, often lead to a lifetime of misery for those affected and to negative consequences for society as a whole.

    Kids Company will spend £1.6m from this campaign on a programme of childhood trauma research with the following leading institutions; University College London, The Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, Oxford University and The Anna Freud Centre.

    This research will also evidence how effective Kids Company's therapeutic interventions are in transforming the lives of vulnerable children. Politicians need to make the right choices in how vulnerable children should be supported and the findings from this research programme will provide an important national resource that will help to stop the tragedy of child maltreatment. If for any reason we are unable to undertake this research or we raise more than £1.6m your donation will contribute to our vital services, supporting thousands of exceptionally vulnerable children.


    Inside the PEACE OF MIND virtual brain you can get your Neuron(s) for a donation of just £5 each. You can customise your Neuron(s) with a picture and a message that you can send to all your social networking sites.

    Getting your Neuron is just the beginning! We really need you to start or join an existing group and to GROW YOUR GROUP by using the email application to invite your colleagues, family and friends to join your group by getting their own neuron(s).

    As your group grows all the Neurons in your group will cluster together. By harnessing the power of your social network and growing your group you will be helping to create the change that vulnerable children desperately need.


    Every day we help children and young people to overcome or manage their trauma so they can rightfully enjoy happy, meaningful and productive lives. With your support we want this model integrated into every social service department in the U.K. so that no vulnerable child ever has to feel alone. Kids Company will use the other £3.4m from the Campaign to continue our vital work supporting over 14,000 vulnerable children and young people, transforming their lives for the better.

    Thank you for joining our PEACE OF MIND campaign and for using your social network to help create the change in child welfare services that vulnerable children desperately need.



  • Camilla Watch the video

    Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996. We provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people. Our services reach 14,000 children across London, including the most deprived and at risk whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own chronic difficulties. For many, the roles of adult and child are reversed and, despite profound love, both struggle to survive.

    The exceptionally vulnerable children we support not only negotiate significant challenges in their family homes, they also face immense threat within their neighborhoods. Often they are exposed to relentless violence, some are forced into drug dealing or prostitution and many experience chronic abuse. Despite great difficulties, the children we help are hugely courageous and embrace the support we offer. We provide a safe, caring, family environment where support is tailored to the needs of each individual. Kids Company empowers children who have experienced enormous challenges to lead positive and fulfilling lives.

    Kids Company operates through two street level centres, an educational institute and a therapy house, as well as offering therapeutic, social work and creative provisions in 38 schools. We offer unrelenting love for every child, whatever it takes. Our staff are constantly inspired by the courage and dignity expressed by vulnerable children in the face of overwhelming challenges. Above all, in everything we do, the child comes first.

    In 2007 Kids Company was awarded the Liberty and Justice Human Rights Award.

ABOUT / Child maltreatment and the brain


    What is the brain

    The human brain is probably the most complex structure in the known universe.

    The human brain is made up of around 100 billion nerve cells, known as neurons. Neurons conduct and transmit electrochemical signals. Neurons are similar to other cells in the body but their electrochemical properties let them transmit signals over long distances and pass messages to each other.

    Neurons carry information around the brain and throughout the body via the nervous system.

    The number of cells is just the start of the complexity of the brain. Not only are there billions of neurons, each neuron has as many as a thousand contacts with other neurons.

    At birth the brain is remarkably underdeveloped, with most of the 100 billion neurons unconnected and networks between them, unstructured.

    The brain develops according to experience. This means that a brain develops in response the environment. As a result, childhood maltreatment can have real, physical implications for brain development and function.

    In turn, supportive, caring relationships can have positive outcomes for brain development and function.

    The brain controls everything we do, see, hear, and think. Information from all parts of the body is relayed to the brain via sensory nerve cells.

    All the different parts of the brain need to be able to communicate with each other so that we can coordinate all of our thoughts and movements to suit our environment. For example, when we feel afraid, we need to know how to run away or defend ourselves, and we need to know how to move our arms and legs to facilitate this.



    Unfortunately, problems can arise which stop the different parts of the brain communicating with each other effectively. These can be medical diseases, such as in Multiple Sclerosis, or Motor Neuron Disease; but other things can also cause parts of the brain communicating effectively with each other, such as very traumatic experiences.

    Attachment to the primary caregiver provides a child the trust and safety necessary to explore and learn about the world around them. The security of the attachment bond is a primary defense against the psychological problems caused by childhood trauma.

    A central tenet of attachment theory is that early experiences and attachment during infancy provide a model or foundation for relationships in later life (Zeanah and Shah, 2005). For this reason, child maltreatment does not end with childhood, it's impacts can continue throughout adulthood.



    The different forms of maltreatment (defined in the scope of the child maltreatment guideline as neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and fabricated or induced illness alone or in combination) are often interlinked and overlapping, making it difficult to estimate the total number of maltreated children (NSPCC 2000).

    Cawson (2002) reported that:

    • 7% of children experienced serious physical abuse at the hands of their parents or carers during childhood.
    • 1% of children aged under 16 experienced sexual abuse by a parent or carer. A further 3% of children aged under 16 experienced sexual abuse by another relative during childhood, with the abuse involving contact in 2% and non-contact in 1%.

    Being born into a loving environment, with consistent, supportive care-giving, is necessary in order to form a positive sense of self-worth and develop pro-social behaviours.

    Chronic stress in childhood can lead to changes in brain structure as this early childhood is the most important period of brain development (Teicher et al., 2002).

    Because of the structural impacts of stress on a child's brain, maltreated children can experience a lack of control over their emotions.

    The trauma of child maltreatment is an experience that induces an abnormally intense and prolonged stress response.

    Stress and anxiety are normal feelings. We need to experience these feelings to be able to push ourselves that extra mile, to warn us about danger, to survive.

    Stress is meant to be a temporary feeling that subsides once the threat has passed; but the stress of childhood abuse does not subside. To a child, it can feel relentless. Children who have suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of their caregivers often develop emotional and behavioural difficulties. This is a result of growing up feeling alone, and fearful.

    Supportive care-giving and meeting the basic requirements of a child help to reduce stress. However, the chronic stress of trauma leaves the child in a constant state of physiological alarm, unable to regulate their emotions.

    When children are in this heightened state of stress, they sometimes experience relief through having a fight, only calming down through the process of exhaustion. Many children attempt to self medicate using substances in order to address their agitation or gain some control over it.

    Other children may experience relief through self-harm. All are 'coping strategies' that maltreated children may resort to in times of despair.

    The public health problem of childhood abuse and neglect can be viewed in two ways:

    The individual cost to the young person in terms of emotional wellbeing, mental and physical health, and education and; -

    The cost to society of antisocial behaviour in terms of police and criminal justice resources, public safety, NHS resources, and the continuation of the cycle of abuse and violence.



    A child who has been abandoned and maltreated develops a profound sense of anger, shameand humiliation. Shame is about private thoughts of 'feeling like rubbish', not feeling worthy of being protected or cherished. It emanates from a sense of personal failure and self-disgust. Humiliation is about others noticing the 'flawed human being' that the child feels they have become.

    The emotional brain centres of children who have been traumatised are full of memories which are often horrific. Giving these feelings expression in crucial to the reparative work needed for emotional healing.

    To work creatively with the severely traumatised child, Kids Company uses arts psychotherapists. Through one-to-one or group therapy sessions, trauma can be gently worked with through the arts.

    The arts offer a containing metaphor for emotions, and experiences: providing a distance from the self that can allow for safe exploration of trauma.

    The arts can include: art, drama, dance/movement, poetry, sandplay, music and clay/sculpture.



    At Kids Company we first assess the needs of each child, and then design an individual package of care and support that best addresses those specific needs. We offer specialised psychiatric care, child and adolescent psychotherapy and counselling, as well as dance, movement, play and arts therapies. We provide complementary health treatments such as acupuncture, hand and facial reflexology, aromatherapy, massage, Reiki and yoga. We also provide off site internvetions such as social work, mentoring, youth work, activities and holidays. Most importantly we offer children and young people a keyworker with whom to develop a trusting relationship.

    For a traumatised child, the consistent presence of a loving, highly trained professional attachment figure who accepts them unconditionally can have powerful transformative effects. However, miracles don't happen overnight and in many cases it takes years of dedicated therapeutic and practical support to help a vulnerable child overcome their experiences and go on to fulfill their potential.

    Our staff never give up on a child, however long it takes. This is one of the reasons for our extraordinary success rate in working with the hardest to reach children and their carers, many of whom are themselves young, traumatised and struggling to cope.




    Children who have suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of their caregivers often develop emotional and behavioural difficulties as a result of growing up in a world in which they feel alone, and fear. These children sometimes go on to develop dangerous 'coping mechanisms' including severe mental health problems and violent, antisocial behaviour. Other children in the community may feel extremely threatened by initiators and be forced to adapt to survive life on the streets, also turning to aggressive behaviour and developing mental health problems as a result of chronic stress. The cycle of aggression and violence can spread like a virus, generating anger, resentment, and fear. This paper reviews how such experiences can have devastating effects to many areas of a child's life.

    Attachment Relationships and Developmental Sensitivity to Trauma

    Attachment relationship' refers to the strong bond that forms between a child and their primary care-giver (usually a parent). A secure attachment helps the child to learn that the world is a safe place, and to build an internal sense of self-worth and pro-social behaviours. When maltreatment occurs in the context of a child's attachment relationship (i.e. at the hands of a care-giver), it is likely to become an insecure one. Attachment is extremely important for a child's capacity to make and maintain relationships, and to regulate their own emotions and behaviours throughout development into adulthood. Insecure attachment relationships are associated with mental health and behavioural problems (including antisocial behaviour and violence) in both childhood and adulthood. Attachment processes occur at the same time the brain is undergoing rapid development. The brain develops based on experience, and traumatic experiences coupled with insecure attachment can lead to impairments to brain structure and function, depending when abuse or neglect occurs. The effects are more detrimental if maltreatment is chronic (i.e. over a prolonged period).

    The Impact of Child Trauma on Development

    The chronic stress of childhood maltreatment disrupts key hormonal systems responsible for regulating physiological function, including metabolism and the stress-response system. Whilst healthy individuals are able to regulate their emotions effectively and shut-off their stress response systems to avoid damage, the maltreated child is not able to do this. This creates a syndrome whereby the child is constantly hypervigilant, irritable, fearful, angry, and/or withdrawn. For the very young child who is unable to fight-back or escape their abuse, their hormonal systems and brain functioning adapts to suit their abusive environment, only to become unleashed in the form of mental health problems and/or externalising behaviours such as violence and substance misuse. Scientific studies using brain-scanning technologies have shown several patterns of impairment to brain structure and function of children who have experienced various forms of abuse. In general, these include under-active frontal, 'social' brain areas, and hyperactive limbic, 'emotional' brain areas. Parts of the brain involved with social-behaviours, learning, and memory can also be damaged as a result of hormonal dysregulation. Disruption to metabolic processes can lead to states of insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity. Thus, childhood maltreatment has a detrimental impact on psychological and physiological functioning.

    Trauma and Behaviour

    Abnormal brain functioning and psychological impairments have implications for internalizing states, including poor mental health, and externalising states, such as impulsiveness, hyperactivity and aggression. Children who have been maltreated are more likely to become involved in substance misuse as a means of self-medication, but may also become caught up in the world of drug dealing. Sleep may well be disrupted as a result of internalising and/or externalising states, leading to impairments in learning and memory, as well as retraumatisation in the form of night terrors. These behaviours may not only affect children who have been maltreated; other children in the local community learn that in order to survive on the street, they have to adapt very quickly and embrace a chaotic world of stress, violence, and drugs. Over the course of time, these non-maltreated children may well become traumatized themselves by the chronic stress of life on the street.

    Resilience to trauma: genes, antisocial behaviour, and mental health

    Not all maltreated children go on to develop mental health problems or antisocial behaviour, and not all children go on to repeat the cycle of abuse; some children are more resilient that others. Having particular versions of certain genes can influence the way your react to severe stress, such as abuse and neglect. For example, studies by the Institute of Psychiatry in London have found that children with a particular version of the MAOA gene went on to develop antisocial behaviours following maltreatment, whilst children with a different version of this gene did not develop antisocial behaviour following maltreatment. Such findings indicate that certain genes could mediate the link between maltreatment and antisocial behaviour and mental health problems.

    Suggested Reading

    Bowlby, J. (2005). The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds. London: Routledge
    Gerhardt, S. (2004) Why Love Matters. London: Routledge
    Greenfield, S. (2002). The Private Life of the Brain. London: Penguin
    Hughes, D. (2006). Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children. Lanham: Jason Aronson Publishers
    Panskepp, J. (2004). Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions. New York: Open University Press USA
    Schore, A. (2003). Affect Regulation and Disorder of the Self. New York: Norton
    Schore, A. (2003). Affect Regulation and the Repair of the Self. New York: Norton
    Stern, D. (2000). The Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View from Psychoanalysis and Development Psychology. New York: Basic Books
    Sunderland, M. (2006). The Science of Parenting: Practical Guidance on Sleep, Crying, Play and Building Emotional Wellbeing for Life. London: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd

  • Attachment Research and the Origins of Violence

    2009 Prevention and Youth Crime, The Policy Press)

    Dr. Felicity de Zulueta. Consultant Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, and lead clinician of the Traumatic Stress Service at the Maudsley Hospital, London, Dr. Zulueta is also a Clinical Lecturer in Traumatic Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry.

    In this article Dr. Zulueta discusses current attitudes to youth violence, highlighting society's propensity to victimize violent youth before acknowledging the conditions that may result in these actions.

    Dr Zulueta illustrates the challenges faced by young traumatized minds and how some children cope with their experiences of trauma, giving a comprehensive account of the biological underpinnings of violence where early-life trauma and insecure care-giver attachment is involved.

    She concludes with a fervent call for a shift in the way politicians respond to youth violence and invest in long term prevention strategies.

    To read more, click to download full article



Kids Company is a registered charity No. 1068298. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 03442083. Registered address 34 Decima Street, London, SE1 4QQ

PEACE of mind, one neuron at a time

Our sponsors

Peace of Mind could not have happened without the unstinting support of PR company, Salix Consulting and Digital Agency, (untitled). Salix developed the campaign concept and has worked with us for the past year to make this groundbreaking concept a reality and ensure we have high level support from the media and industry. (untitled) has realised Kids Company's dream online - utilising it's full digital experience from user interface design and technical build through to social marketing and viral.

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder and chief executive of Kids Company, says:

"Salix are bright, thoughtful, creative and altruistic. They're helping the children of Kids Company achieve a safer childhood. And on an entirely voluntary basis. That makes them my number one PR agency. (untitled) has been truly amazing and the virtual brain is a masterpiece. We are so lucky to have had the support of these wonderful people."

Sarah Wrixon, Managing Director of Salix Consulting, says:

"Camila's work with vulnerable children and young people is inspirational. Anyone who has spent time with her will very quickly understand the appalling adversity that many young people endure. We are privileged and proud to be working with all the wonderful people at Kids Company and with the brilliant guys at (untitled)."

Robert Hollands, Managing Director of (untitled), says:

"When we met with the team at Kids Company last year we were totally moved by their amazing work. We knew instantly that we wanted to work with them and draw on our digital expertise to achieve their goals. The whole team at (untitled) has been behind the project and will continue to support Kids Company as they challenge the way vulnerable children are supported in the U.K."

salix consulting

We are a strategic communications consultancy specialising in the health, education and social sectors with a reputation for providing grown up solutions to grown up problems. Modern communications are based on conversations, engagement and advocacy and we believe campaigns should be intuitive, thought provoking and compelling.

We are passionate about communications and are always driven by an ethos that delivers clarity and consistency of message to support better outcomes. Our approach is highly personal and collaborative and we work closely with clients to develop brand, strategic and tactical plans to communicate your messages within an intelligent, creative and effective framework. Skill, spark and creativity together with sheer hard work and careful attention to detail generate results for clients that challenge perceptions, get people talking and make a difference.

Find us at www.salixconsulting.com. We'd love to say hello.

salix consulting


We tried to fit into a pigeon hole. We couldn't. We're not pigeons.

What we are though is a digital creative agency, based in central London. We're a young, spritely agency which means we're energetic and committed to delivering award winning projects. Working in over 20 markets and 15 languages we combine creative, strategic and technical expertise to deliver effective online (and offline - no pigeon holing remember) communications for grown-up brands and start-ups alike

You can find out more at www.untitledlondon.com. Pop by any time.

(untitled) Digital Agency

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

The partnership between the pharmaceutical industry and Kids Company connects two previously separated worlds and is more than symbolic. The ABPI is encouraging its members to interact on many levels including mentoring schemes and workshops with children and young people.

Together we can create a pioneering evidence based research that has the power to transform the lives of vulnerable children and genuinely make our society a better place for everyone. We urge you to join us in supporting and participating in Kids Company's Peace of Mind campaign.

Richard Barker

Director General

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry


We believe at the heart of every forward-thinking organisation is a reliable and resilient web hosting platform with the ability to support a mission-critical website 24/7, 365 days a year, without failure.

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By providing Kidsco with a truly dependable website hosting solution, we are helping them to maximise their online reach in a world where digital communication is vital.

Pound Host


Netmums is the biggest UK online network for mums of children from 0 to 16. It helps them to connect with others locally, to enjoy life as a mum and to find help if they need it. Netmums seeks to make a difference to people's lives, which is why we are supporting Kid's Company's Peace of Mind campaign.

Net Mums


Kids Company is a registered charity No. 1068298. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 03442083. Registered address 34 Decima Street, London, SE1 4QQ