Sir Al Aynsley-Green launches new book ‘The British Betrayal of Childhood’ at Coram

Published: Wednesday 24th October 2018

Yesterday (23 October) Coram hosted 'In the Footsteps of Thomas Coram', an event with Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the first children’s commissioner for England, to discuss the issues raised in his new book 'The British Betrayal of Childhood', and the impact that Thomas Coram has had on his career.

Dr Carol Homden CBE, CEO of Coram and Sir Al Aynsley-Green in front of Thomas Coram's portrait

Sir Al’s book contains insights and reflections from his 40 years’ experience of supporting the needs of children, and calls on politicians, practitioners in public health and the general public to be more aware of the difficult reality that many children in Britain face today. It also shows how poorly Britain compares to other countries when it comes to children’s life chances.

Sir Al led a passionate debate on the challenges facing children today, questioning whether our society is intolerant to children and whether children feel safe and valued. He said:

We must celebrate what is good for children today but for too many children, the outcomes for health, social care, education and poverty are some of the worst. What some children have told me about their lives is shocking. It’s time we had urgent action to address it.

The release of his book also coincides with the 350th anniversary of Thomas Coram's birth - a man identified in the book as Sir Al's personal and professional hero for his attributes of courage, compassion and commitment.

On the legacy of Thomas Coram, Sir Al said:

I immediately saw his relevance to us today. He was the very first social entrepreneur for children and I do believe we should look to him as a role model.

 

I urge you to consider how you can use your own courage, compassion and commitment and ask what each of us can do to help one child today.

You can order a copy of the book online here.