ATD Fourth World UK

ATD FOURTH WORLD is a human rights based anti-poverty organisation, with more than fifty years experience of tackling inequality and promoting social justice in the UK.

Working in partnership with people affected by poverty, ATD Fourth World has, since 1968, concentrated its efforts on supporting families and influencing policy through work at Frimhurst Family House and our National Centre in London.

Reaching the hardest to reach: Many target-led services fail to reach the most disadvantaged people. We believe that families and individuals who have the most difficult lives hold the key to understanding and overcoming persistent poverty. They are at the heart of everything we do.

Our Family Support Programme aims to give the most vulnerable and excluded families the time, space, and resources they need to build upon their strengths, develop their support networks and access public services in their community. Through our advocacy work with families in crisis, we seek to create the conditions that will allow parents, children and professionals to understand one another better and work more successfully together.

At the same time, our Policy, Participation and Training Programme empowers people with experience of poverty to express their views and offer solutions to the problems affecting their lives while offering policy makers an invaluable insight into overcoming poverty from the bottom up.

OUR VISION is of a world without persistent poverty, where everyone is valued, can participate fully in society and fulfil their potential.

OUR MISSION is to build a network of people, groups and organisations committed to overcoming persistent poverty.

OUR AIMS are to support families and individuals living in persistent poverty:

  • to get through times of crisis
  • to pursue their goals and aspirations
  • to develop their skills, confidence and knowledge

and bring them together with other members of the public, including professionals, academics, and policy makers:

  • to raise awareness of persistent poverty
  • to counter prejudice and discrimination
  • to improve policy and practice


Taking people seriously: When people are in difficulty the focus is often on their problems or perceived short comings. Our approach is to recognise the strength, determination and resourcefulness it takes to just get by. We build on the important roles people play in their family and community and support them to realise their dreams and aspirations.

A long-term commitment: Whereas persistent poverty is enduring, complex and deep-rooted, much of the support society offers is short-term, narrow and results driven. We are committed to accompanying people over the long run, moving forward with them at their own pace and building our projects around their hopes and ambitions.

Giving people a voice: The socio-political debate on poverty rarely includes those who are the most affected, even though their knowledge and insight is vital. We believe that everyone’s voice matters and that people living in persistent poverty should have the chance to speak out on issues that concern them.

Working collaboratively: We are a membership organisation, not a service provider. Our members include full-time core workers, families living in persistent poverty, supporters and volunteers. All are encouraged to get involved in every aspect of what we do, from project planning to evaluation, from fundraising to campaigning, from administration to governance.


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