From Kids Alive UK to Stand by Me

Stand by Me, formally Kids Alive UK, was established in 1995 with the sole purpose of rescuing 60 orphan kids in war torn Lebanon. Today we care for over 4000 kids around the world, providing them with life-changing care. 

Where it started

In 1983 David Spurdle, a teacher from Hornchurch, Essex, visited Lebanon during the civil war where he witnessed first-hand the needs of orphaned children. After this life changing experience, he knew he had to act and so he committed to caring for 60 orphans at the Near East Boys Home. After many visits to Lebanon, David took early retirement from teaching in 1995 and established Kids Alive UK in a shed at the bottom of his garden. Little did he know that his initial steps of faith would lead us to work in four continents and rescue thousands of children, restoring their dignity and enabling them to escape the cycle of poverty.

From those humble beginnings we have built many children’s homes, providing orphaned and abandoned children with a family environment where they can receive the love they deserve. Firm in the belief that education is essential in giving children a brighter future, we started to build and run schools in order to provide children from our homes and the surrounding poor communities with a life-changing education.

Becoming Stand by Me

When we commenced our work in 1995, we worked alongside another organisation, Kids Alive International. It simply made sense at that time to associate with them because of our mutual passion for caring for kids in Lebanon. Soon after, we established our own Kids Alive UK projects with our own vision and unique approach to care. By 2010, we felt it was the right time to establish our own unique identity which better reflected our work and who we were supporting.

Our work had become much more inclusive, broader and challenging than in the early years. We were working in seven countries and caring for thousands of orphans and children in crisis. As well as meeting children's needs through homes and schools, we started to stand by their carers, family members, teachers and nurses through medical programmes, care centres, family support and community projects. We became Stand by Me.

Kids Alive UK is still part of our heritage

While we are proud of our identity as Stand by Me and all that the name means to our kids around the world, Kids Alive UK is still part of our history and heritage and continues to influence our future. We still have the same staff, the same projects and the same mission to care for and offer hope to children in crisis around the world. We remain committed to making lasting improvements in children’s lives, endeavouring to care for them as Jesus would, by restoring their dignity and giving them a sense of self-worth.

Many of our overseas staff and projects still refer to themselves as Kids Alive UK. We also have hundreds of young people across the globe who today are proud that they were Kids Alive UK children, one of whom is Ahmad Ayoubi who grew up in the Near East Boys Home in Lebanon and in 2018 became the Executive Director of Stand by Me. His history, and that of many other children, is inextricably bound with Kids Alive UK, now Stand by Me.

Our history is very important to us, not least because of our amazing supporters who have supported us from the start. Many of our original Kids Alive UK supporters continue to make regular donations and leave legacies to our children. These supporters make Stand by Me what it is today.

The journey continues 

As we go forward, we will continue to reflect and take courage from our history as Kids Alive UK. We are determined to be flexible and tailor our care to suit the individual needs of children whatever their situation may be. We tackle each and every obstacle our kids face, enabling them to access a life-changing education. We’re in no rush, we’re in this for the long term, to help them become who they were created to be. For us at Stand by Me, it is not about how many children we care for but how well we care, and just as Jesus embraced those classed as untouchable, fed the hungry, and was an advocate for the vulnerable, we’re following in his footsteps and showing children the love of God.

We’re delighted that we have become big enough to offer transformative child-centred care to thousands of kids but we’re also proud that we remain small enough to care deeply about every single child. The children we rescue come from complex backgrounds and key to our success has always been to treat each child individually and to recognise their need for unconditional love. We are committed to standing by them for the long term to ensure they receive the support, love and attention they need to thrive. It’s been an amazing journey so far and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

Read our Manifesto
We've been rescuing kids on these core principles for over 20 years
Read What we do
Our child-centred approach to care and our four key care programmes to meet our kids' individual needs
Stand by... almost there...