The Helen Linforth Children’s Fund

A legendary figure in the North East adoption sector, Helen Linforth was due to be the first chair of ARC Adoption North East's adoption panel, unfortunately she passed away in 2014, before being able to take on a key role at ARC Adoption North East. This led to a fund being set up in Helen's name to benefit children placed by ARC Adoption and who required additional support.

Helen Linforth was a legendary figure in the North East adoption sector for well over 35 years and ARC Adoption North East felt privileged and honoured that she agreed to be the first chair of our adoption panel.  Sadly, as we were establishing as an agency and working towards needing to have our first panel meeting, Helen became seriously ill and tragically died on 24th June 2014.

Although Helen passed away without having taken on this influential role, she had already played a major part in the formation of ARC by providing sound advice and guidance as we prepared for registration as an adoption agency.

Throughout this process Helen kept us focused on the benefits and outcomes we could achieve for children as throughout her career she was a staunch advocate for children in the care system.

Knowing Helen wasn’t going to be with us in person to see the agency make a major contribution to the adoption field, we talked to her about launching a fund in her honour that would be there to support children placed for adoption for many years to come.

As usual Helen was able to guide us in the right direction and helped to determine what such a fund could be used for.  She wanted it to be spent on children placed with families approved by ARC, but she also wanted it to be flexible and responsive.  In her mind it should be used when a child required additional support, or would benefit from a social experience either individually or as part of a group.

One of her last wishes was that rather than provide flowers for her funeral, family, friends and colleagues could make donations to the fund and therefore get it off to a flying start.

In order to administer the fund and to make decisions about eligibility, a further group has been formed. They will consult where necessary with Helen’s family to seek their opinion should any extra-ordinary requests be made.

In the summer of 2018 we used the fund to subsidise a range of outdoor activities where adopted children and their families came together to enjoy each other’s companionship and generally just have a fun time together

"Once again my sincere thanks to all who have contributed in any way at all and to those who may wish to make a donation now or in the future. Helen would have been so proud." 

Terry Fitzpatrick

Director at ARC Adoption

Donations can be made by cheque made out to “The Helen Linforth Children’s Fund” and send to;

ARC Adoption North East

Unit 29, North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC),

Wearfield, Enterprise Park East, Sunderland,


or if you would prefer to donate via bank transfer please get in touch for further details of how to do this 0191 5166466.

If as an adoptive parent you feel your child could benefit from this fund, then please contact a member of the ARC Adoption team who will be happy to make a referral on your behalf.

If anyone is interested in helping in this way then please call us on 0191 5166466 or email [email protected]