Catch22 (charity)

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Catch22 is a registered charity in the United Kingdom. Formed in 2008, it has over 1000 employees.[1] Catch22 is a national charity that works with young people (ages 10 through 25) who find themselves in difficult situations, helping them to stay healthy, find opportunities to learn, earn a living, find a safe place to live and to give something back to their community.

Catch22 was formed in 2008 by the merge of UK young people's organisations "Rainer" and "Crime Concern".[2]


Catch22 work with young people and their families within England and Wales. They provide advice, mentoring, mediation, accommodation, education and employment opportunities to young people. They primarily work in schools, community centres and police stations.

Catch22 helps over 34,000 young people and 1,500 families each year.

Catch22 is a member of the T2A Alliance,[3] which looks at ways of preventing young adults from ending up in jail and refining the way society and specifically policy makers deal with young adults.[4]

HRH the Princess Royal is patron of the charity.[5] In December 2009 the Princess Royal attended the official opening of Catch22's social enterprise, Auto22 [3] [6] Pop Idol star, singer and actor Will Young is an ambassador for Catch22 [7] In April 2011 Will Young ran the London Marathon for Catch22.[8]


Catch22 has its origins in the Philanthropic Society formed in 1788. A merger of the Royal Philanthropic Society and The Rainer Foundation took place in 1997 to form RPSRainer.[9] In 2003 it changed its name to Rainer.[10]

Royal Philanthropic Society[edit]

The Royal Philanthropic Society had its origins in the St Paul's Coffee House in London in 1788 where a group of men met to discuss the problems of homeless children who were to be found begging and stealing on the streets. The Society began by opening homes where children in need and young offenders were trained in cottage industries working under the instruction of skilled tradesmen. This was one of the first attempts in the United Kingdom to separate the treatment of young offenders from the adult population.[11] In 1806 the Society was incorporated by Act of Parliament, sanctioning its work with juvenile delinquents.

Archives show that by 1848 1,500 children had been helped and only 1 in 20 committed further offences.

Philanthropic Farm School[edit]

In 1849 the Society founded the Farm School for Boys at Redhill in Surrey modelled on the Mettray Penal Colony in France. The Reformatory School Act of Parliament (1854), championed by a movement supported by Charles Dickens, allowed the courts to send delinquents to the Society's reformatories instead of sending them to prison.

Concerned about the lack of hope for those who came before the courts the printer Frederic Rainer, a volunteer with the Church of England Temperance Society (CETS), wrote to them in 1876 with a five shilling donation towards a fund for rescue work in the police courts. In response the CETS appointed a missionary to Southwark court, who became the basis for the London Police Court Mission (LPCM).

Between 1880 and 1902 eight full-time LPCM missionaries were appointed and the Mission opened homes and shelters to provide vocational training. In 1907 the LPCM missionaries were appointed officers of the court who were later to be known as probation officers.

The Children and Young Person's Act (1933) introduced juvenile courts for children of 17 and younger and the Philanthropic Society's Redhill Farm School was given approved school status. In 1938 the Home Office assumed control of the probation service and the LPCM began to concentrate on hostels for probation trainees and to set up homes for children at risk, sexually abused children and for young mothers.

In 1952 the Philanthropic Society was granted royal status.

In 1964 the Philanthropic Society registered with the Charities Commission as Rainer, in recognition of Frederic Rainer's donation.[12]

In 2008 Rainer merged with Crime Concern, another long established charity working with young people in the criminal justice system to become Catch22

Rainer Foundation[edit]

The Rainer Foundation was originally formed as the London Police Court Mission (LPCM) as a result of a 5 shilling gift made by Fredrick Rainer in 1876 to Church of England Temperance Society part of the Temperance movement. In the letter attached to the gift Rainer asked "can nothing be done for him whose foot has once slipped". Originally the Missionaries, later called Probation Officers, were recruited from the 'respectable' classes. In 1907 under the aegis of the Probation of offenders Act, these missionaries became known as probation officers.

The LPCM was renamed the Rainer Foundation in the 1960s. In the early 1980s, the foundation developed a number of innovative schemes for young offenders influenced greatly by research carried out at Lancaster University. Under the leadership of its Director Richard Kay, the Foundation continued to develop innovative services for young 'offenders', young homeless people and young survivors of sexual abuse. In 1996 the Rainer Foundation merged with an even older philanthropic organization the Royal Philanthropic Society (RPS) and became known as Rainer RPS. Later the RPS was dropped.

Similar charitable organisations[edit]

The company name Catch22 (without a space) may also refer to a community interest company based in Seven Sisters (Tottenham), London called Catch 22 Academy.[13] Catch 22 Academy is a journalism school founded in 2006.[14]


External links[edit]