The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Top companies join our Learn to Live petition: ‘We’re proud to work for child victims of conflict’

'The Crown' star joins 6,500 who have signed our petition to support youngsters with psychological scars of war

Naomi Ackerman,Anna Davis
Thursday 08 November 2018 13:11 GMT
The Crown actor, with Siobhan, left, and Alicja, right
The Crown actor, with Siobhan, left, and Alicja, right (Alex Lentati)

Leading companies today joined celebrities and school pupils in signing a petition or writing letters calling on the government to do more to help children left traumatised by war.

The petition – part of our Learn to Live campaign – urges the prime minister and other world leaders to better support the mental health and emotional needs of children affected by conflict. Even when children escape the bombs, the trauma of war can stay with them for years.

So far more than 6,500 people have signed the petition. Among the organisations to give their support are eBay, Dropbox, the People’s Postcode Lottery and law firm Clifford Chance.

The Crown actor Vanessa Kirby signed the petition alongside a class of London primary schoolchildren, who wrote letters to Theresa May.

Other celebrities to support the campaign include Spice Girl Mel C, musician Jack Savoretti and Coldplay.

Hazel Johnstone, programmes manager at the People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have been supporting War Child for almost five years, and they’ve seen the difference that can be made through educational and emotional provision to children affected by war. We fully support the Learn to Live campaign and hope that people join us in signing the petition to call on more mental health and psychosocial support for children in conflict.”

Polly Fields, head of social impact at Dropbox, said the company wanted to help “further important work”.

She added: “The Dropbox Foundation is proud to support the War Child and the Independent and Evening Standard's Learn to Live campaign. We know how crucial mental health and psychosocial support is for children living in conflict areas.”

Tom Dunn, Clifford Chance pro bono director, said: “We fully support the War Child, Independent and Evening Standard's Learn to Live campaign and its objective to raise awareness of the importance in ensuring mental health and psychosocial support provision, in schools, for children in conflict areas around the world. Sign the petition and join the movement to ensure that children affected by war get the support they need.”

Learn to Live: Joss Stone says The Independent's campaign teaches children around the world to 'empathise' with each other

As part of the Learn to Live campaign we have twinned London school pupils with children affected by war around the world, including Syrian child refugees and displaced children living in camps after enduring life under so-called Isis.

These children struggle to get a full education, or to receive the mental health support they need following traumatic wartime experiences.

As a result of our campaign hundreds more British schools have signed up to be twinned with schools around the world.

Rob Williams, War Child UK CEO, said the high-profile backing for the Learn to Live petition “shows there is an appetite to achieve even more”.

He said: “Thanks to this inspiring campaign we have felt the impact of the raised awareness of our work and have received £500,000 extra funding from the Department for International Development through the government aid match.

“However, we want to reach even more children to support them towards the futures they deserve, so we’re asking everyone to sign our petition calling on leaders to do more to help our efforts in providing education and mental health support to children in conflict.”

Sadiq Khan calls on all Londoners to get behind Learn to Live campaign

How to attend one-off gigs

Readers have the opportunity to attend intimate one-off gigs at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush held in aid of children left traumatised by war.

The Safe And Sound series will feature special performances from Indie group Everything Everything, rising star Tom Misch and electro producer Jon Hopkins, all with support acts.

The series will run in the last week of November as a Learn to Live campaign finale – and all ticket proceeds will go towards funding partner charity War Child programmes.

These give children in war zones the years of support they need to ensure they can recover and grow.

Tickets to all shows at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire cost from £35, with VIP packages available.

All proceeds go to War Child UK. Ticketmaster will donate a portion of all booking fees.

November 25: Jon Hopkins/Alexis Taylor and special guests

November 26: Tom Misch and friends

November 27: Everything Everything and special guests

Go to

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in