Hope for Children's UK Project


The CASPeR project (Community Action and Support for Pandemic Response) is based in Knowsley, a disadvantaged area in Merseyside, England.

Currently Knowsley is one of the most deprived boroughs in England and the rate of  population growth is predicted to put pressure on education and health services.

When the pandemic hit, it had a major effect on everyone’s life. However, for vulnerable families with young children, this has been severely detrimental to their learning and development in schools. They have suffered disruptions to their education, along with delayed developments in socialisation and physical exercise. Communication and language development has been severely affected as a result. Some are about to start nursery with little or no speech.

This project plans to support families who have been identified as vulnerable, working with nurseries and receptions to support the parents and carers of these children, and using a national book scheme to provide age-appropriate books to all children.

The key aim of the project is to reduce the delay in development in 0–5-year-olds caused by the pandemic restrictions by supplying provisions for early year resources to families. We will provide a book each month to every child until their 5th birthday, via the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, with the resources to improve parental engagement in their child’s learning and development.


How did we chose which location to start the CASPeR project with?

  • Knowsley has the third highest rate of children with Special Educational Needs (19.2%) and disabilities in England
  • Currently 1,200 children and young people have a current Education, Health and Care Plan to support them
  • 90 children per 10 000 population looked after in Knowsley compared to 63 per 10 000 population nationally
  • There are over 10,000 children living in families in poverty in the Borough
  • No. of children aged under 5 living in poverty is increasing
  • Average household income is lower than the UK average - net household income ranges from £423 per week to £638

(Source: Knowsley 2030 Evidence Base report)

The CASPeR project, Knowsley will see Hope for Children partner with other organisations including Home-Start Knowsley and the Local Authority to support families in the home and in early years settings to provide training and resources for Early Years staff, volunteers, parents and carers of children in the Knowsley area age 0-5 as well as providing reading books via a library scheme.

Started in Autumn 2022 we are aiming to reach 400 children in the first year of the programme.




We aim to register every child within the programme on a scheme to provide them with a  new book every month, delivered to their home 
This scheme will continue until their 5th birthday
Providing the books cost £25 per year (£125 per child from birth to 5) for a total of 60 books over 5 years



A resources pack, with items such as puppets and other stimulus, will be provided for use in the home and small parent groups to overcome the issues they are experiencing


Families will be encouraged to use the resources, books and the world around them to engage with the children so they can become even more skilled in facilitating their child's development


Staff and volunteers will have access to webinars/podcasts devised by experts to provide more creative ways to engage children



Provided by Early Excellence - inspirational learning trainers


Carers will receive information and guidance on the most effective ways to encourage speech & language


Aim to increase self-esteem, confidence and sociability



Happy children who develop a love of books, reading, storytelling and knowledge of the world around them with the key skills to potentially absorb all of the learning of the world offers during the first five years of life