Publish date: 31 January 2024

We were really pleased to welcome three members of the House of Lords, along with the Children’s Commissioner for England, to the Lighthouse this month.


Lord Ponsonby, Lady Sanderson and Lord Hampton – members of the House of Lords, and Dame Rachel De Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England, met with Lighthouse staff to learn more about our work providing a safe space to support children and young people in their recovery from sexual abuse.

During their visit, the group met with members of the multidisciplinary team at the Lighthouse, including paediatricians, child and family practitioners, child and adolescent mental health practitioners and NSPCC practitioners.

Later that day, Lord Ponsonby referred to the Lighthouse in a speech in the House of Lords chamber saying, “This morning, I, the noble Lord, Lord Hampton, and the noble Baroness, Lady Sanderson, visited the Lighthouse project in Camden. This provides a one-stop shop for child victims of sexual abuse. It is a model of how these services should be provided.”

The Lighthouse is based on the international Barnahus (a Scandinavian word for ‘child house’) model and offers a joined-up approach where children and young people can access support in giving evidence in the criminal justice process, holistic health support, advocacy and therapeutic support – all ‘under one roof’.

thumbnail_image001 (1).jpg

Dame Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England, said:

“It was a pleasure to visit The Lighthouse with members of the House of Lords to hear about fantastic work the team is doing to support victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation. The Lighthouse is a brilliant example of what can be achieved when services coalesce around children. We need Child Houses like the Lighthouse in every area, I am calling for a national roll out of Child Houses to provide holistic care to child victims of sexual harm and the most serious crimes.”

Dr Laura Smith, Lighthouse Clinical Lead, said,

“We love to show people around the Lighthouse so we can share the importance of providing joined-up health and therapeutic services, law enforcement, criminal justice, safeguarding and advocacy services, together under one roof. The Lighthouse is the only Child House in the country and is only commissioned to provide services to children from North Central London. We are sharing our experience and good practice to hopefully help the development of more Child Houses across the country so that many more children can benefit.”

After a successful pilot, UCLH was awarded sustainable funding in 2022 from NHS England, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, North Central London Integrated Care Board and the Crown Prosecution Service, to provide services to 220 children a year from North Central London. The service is delivered in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and the NSPCC, who offer a therapeutic intervention as part of the wider emotional and mental health offer.