The children’s charity Coram has received the largest financial gift in its 280-year history.
The charity said that it had received £4m from the grant-maker the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to create the Hamlyn Endowment for the Rights and Voice of Children.
The endowment will help Coram to increase its work on children’s rights, and to help children have their voices heard by policy-makers and in wider society, a statement from the charity said.
The new funding will help Coram to reach hundreds more children, and the charity said it would also directly benefit thousands more through building its capacity to provide legal advice to children and families.
The funding is roughly equivalent to a fifth of Coram’s annual income, which for the latest accounts, covering the year to 31 March 2018, was £19.7m.
Coram is the UK’s oldest children’s charity, having been established in 1739 by Thomas Coram as the Foundling Hospital.
The Coram Children’s Legal Centre and Coram Voice, which will deliver elements of the work receiving the funding, are both parts of the Coram group of charities, which includes a total of six organisations operating under the Coram branding and from the charity’s premises in Bloomsbury, London.
Carol Homden, chief executive of Coram, said: "Sadly, too many children and young people in the UK still do not get the help and support they need, and this generous gift from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation will enable us to advance the Coram Children’s Legal Centre and realise our ambitious plans for the future.
"This landmark gift is a reflection of the outstanding commitment of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to those who are marginalised and to their strong and continuing leadership role in philanthropy at a critical time."
Moira Sinclair, chief executive of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said: "We know just how valuable long-term, consistent and flexible funding can be to organisations.
"At a time when civil society is under financial stress and the world around us feels increasingly fractured, we feel the need to act, to show our backing for some key organisations, ones that we see as critical to and influential in the sectors we support, and it is for this reason that we have made this decision to endow Coram."