About Us

new logoATD FOURTH WORLD is a human rights-based, anti-poverty organisation with more than 40 years' experience of engaging with individuals and institutions to find solutions to eradicate extreme poverty 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 in Surrey and our National Centre in London. read more...

A member of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, we work in more than twenty-five countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. We work with affiliated organisations in 90 other countries and have over 100,000 members worldwide.

As part of our commitment to representing people living in poverty at an international level, ATD Fourth World has a permanent delegation at the European Union and holds general consultative status with UNICEF, UNESCO, ECOSOC, the International Labour Organisation and the Council of Europe.

On 17 October 1987, ATD Fourth World was at the root of the laying of a Commemorative Stone honouring the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger on the Parvis des Droits de l'Homme et des Libertes in Paris. Five years later, the United Nations recognised 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and called on all nations to renew their commitment to fighting poverty and to show their solidarity with the poor.

Since then, more than thirty similar Commemorative Stones have already been laid around the world, from the European Parliament in Brussels to the Gardens of the United Nations in New York. Each one bears the words of Joseph Wresinski, the founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World: "Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty."


Read the lastest edition of our regular journal, Dignity, here (pdf).

Or download the latest annual review (pdf).

Frimhurst Family House

Frimhurst Family House is a fully-modernised Victorian house set in its own extensive woodland and grounds and is, for many families, a refuge where parents and children can spend quality time together away from the stresses of daily life.

As the location for all residential aspects of ATD Fourth World's Family Support Programme, Frimhurst Family House aims to provide families with a setting in which to relax, to spend quality time together, to think clearly, to learn new skills, to meet other families in the same situation and to learn together in a respectful, non-judgemental environment.  read more...

With residential accommodation for 30 people, a carpentry workshop, an art studio, dining facilities and disabled access, Frimhurst is also available to hire for a variety of purposes, including conferences, group meetings, wedding receptions, children’s parties and private classes.

For more information, contact:
Frimhurst Family House
Guildford Road
Frimley Green,
Surrey GU16 6NU
tel: 01252 835489
email: contact@atdfrimhurst.co.uk


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Housing and Home

ATD Fourth World is proud to announce the release of Housing and Home, a Giving Poverty a Voice project report. It is available to download here.

Giving Poverty a Voice supports people experiencing poverty and inequality in London to engage with and participate in their communities and, in so doing, have their say on the decisions that affect their lives.

Representatives from local community organisations, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Oxfam GB, Oxford University, Save the Children, Southwark Citizens Advice Bureaux Service, Southwark Council, Trust for London and Z2K were all present to hear, discuss and react to the report's findings. Read more...

Using issue-based discussion forums, capacity-building workshops and examinations of the different opportunities and avenues to participate in the democratic process, Giving Poverty a Voice aims to empower and encourage people to stand up and be heard.

A blog to support the project can be seen here.

Giving Poverty a Voice is supported by Trust for London, the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales and Southwark Council. 

Holiday from Poverty

DSCN0632.JPGHoliday from Poverty, a six-minute film that opens a window onto the impact of a family taking their first ever holiday, is now available to be viewed here

The film follows the Hope family to Frimhurst Family House, the location setting for all residential aspects of ATD Fourth World's Family Support Programme, and seeks to challenge media stereotypes of ‘poor people’.

“Living in poverty isn't just about money,” says director Jez Lewis, “It's the fear of what other people think of you, the feeling that you're not even entitled to the things they take for granted.” Read more...

Holiday from Poverty is part of the Why Poverty series of films exploring the realities faced by people living in poverty. It was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and made by Mosaic Films. More films from the series are available here

Taking a Stand 


Looking back, the past year was one of remarkable highs and extreme lows. On the world stage, our country pulled together to host an Olympic Games that we could truly be proud of. 

And yet, at home, government ministers can claim that people on benefits “enjoy a lifestyle” and sleep behind “drawn blinds” while their neighbours go to work, without being challenged on such assertions.

As one young man noted, “If even the Prime Minister is calling us scroungers, frauds and fakes, then ordinary people will believe it, won't they?” Read more...

Such misinformation is used by politicians to justify otherwise unpopular economic policies, such as harsh austerity measures, benefit caps, a bedroom tax and punitive welfare-to-work schemes. 

It is also a building block in the creation of an “us and them” culture that can be seen in the withdrawal of local health, support, legal and advice services. The heaping of these cuts on the shoulders of the weakest can only have a massively detrimental effect on their long-term health and capacity to work and to parent. One father observed that, “There will be a rise in the number of children placed into care when their parents can no longer feed, house or clothe them properly due to these cuts.”

A stand must be taken against the demonisation and humiliation of those living in poverty. We need to build alliances with those who challenge the economic argument propping up this political agenda and ensure that these attacks on the poorest are exposed as being as morally bankrupt as they are financially disastrous.

The above is an edited extract from the ATD Fourth World Annual Review 2012, available to download here.