NSPCC complicity in cruelty to Palestinian children. An open letter signed by ninety one health workers, academics, educators, social workers, youth workers, and others

Since 2006 up to August 2020, 3,501 children have been rendered homeless by house demolitions, according to Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem. Israel’s systematic house demolitions have been condemned by a wide-ranging body of human rights organisations, including Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The policy is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention which forbids the occupying power from destroying civilian property belonging to the occupied people.

The NSPCC has been fully informed of the use of JCB equipment in these demolitions which inflict trauma on Palestinian children, and of the high level of criticism of JCB.

The NSPCC has responded by saying that their due diligence does not cover what corporate donors export and therefore the charity is happy to accept JCB funding.

We recognise the excellent work the NSPCC does and applaud the charity’s aim to “give a voice to children” and to “fight for every childhood”.

 British children should not benefit from the suffering of children overseas, however. Nor should the NSPCC accept money from a company whose chosen policies pose such a reputational risk to the charity.

 We call on the NSPCC to stop taking money from JCB and to prove that – as they claim in their literature – “Every Childhood Is Worth Fighting For”.


Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK – Dr Monica Wusteman, chair

Social Work Action Network – Rory Anderson, National Convenor

UK-Palestine Mental Health Network – Guy Shennan, spokesperson

Protecting Palestinian Families – Sharen Green, co-founder

Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Ben Jamal, director

Legal expert

John Spencer CBE, LLD, QC, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

Author of: Children and Cross-examination, The Evidence of Children – The Law and the Psychology and Children’s Evidence in Legal Proceedings – an International Perspective

Children’s Author

Lynne Reid Banks

Health workers

Dr Swee Ang, former Consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon to UNWRA and WHO in Gaza and Palestine, and also to the Palestine Red Crescent in Lebanon.

Gillian Barnett, retired mental health professional

Sally Bishop, former school nurse

Dr Charlotte Burck, Honorary Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

Tim Coldicott, family therapist

Caroline Dalal,  retired child and adolescent family psychotherapist

Dr Heather Formaini, psychoanalyst (working in Italy)

Michael Foulkes, consultant family psychotherapist (retired)

Caroline Gainsbury, clinical nurse specialist, Great Ormond Street Hospital

Julia Garratt, counsellor

Margaret Goddard, health visitor

Dr David Goldberg, retired doctor

Prof Colin Green, Emeritus Professor of Surgical Science

Prof Pamela Heaton, Dept of Psychology, Goldsmiths University of London

Jessica Hope, school counsellor

Heather Hunt, child psychologist

Bridget le Huray, retired nurse, SRN, RSCN and health visitor

Dr  Martin Kemp, Psychoanalyst,

Ian Mc Cabe , Clinical Child Psychologist 

Dr Brooke Maddox-Marquis, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and a founding member of the FRPALMHN (France Palestine Mental Health Network).

Deirdre Malcolm, psychotherapist.

Sid Singer, retired Consultant Psychologist  and Educator, Israel and UK

Deirdre Sisson  former school counsellor, currently part-time counsellor of the young.

Rose Stockwell, retired mental health worker
Dr Derek Summerfield, Hon Sen Clinical Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College. Formerly Research Associate, Refugee Studies Centre, Univ of Oxford; consultant to Oxfam.

Maggie Towsie, retired consultant psychiatrist

Janet Tyrell, retired mental health professional who worked with children in the UK and abroad

Dr Pam Wortley, retired GP


Sheila Allen, former teacher

David Clinch, retired teacher

Liz Clinch, retired teacher

Lesley Cook, retired teacher

Joseph Cotterell, nursery school worker

Geoffrey Court. educator

Ann Farr, former teacher

Hilary Firth, former teacher

Heather Goodman, retired educator and mental health worker

Michael Goodwin, retired head teacher

Jenny Hardacre, former teacher

Jehan Helou, Palestinian educator and children’s rights activist

Prof Roger Iredale, Emeritus Professor of International Education, Manchester University

Mavis Iredale, former teacher and teacher trainer

Anwen Hughes, retired teaching assistant

Chris Jones, former university lecturer

Val Johnson, former deputy head teacher

Georganne Lamont, educator and author

Dr Dvora Liberman, Research Associate, 

Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford

Annie O’Gara, former teacher

Carole Oosthuysen, former teacher  

Brian Oosthuysen, former teacher

Sue Owen, former teacher

Margaret Peace, former teacher

Françoise Pinteaux-Jones: former teacher

Fiaz Rashid, teacher

Louise Regan, national officer for Membership and Equality, National Education Union

Caroline Ross, retired educator and author

Jennifer Runham, former teacher and school governor

Tom Sanders, former teacher

Bernard Spiegal, director,PLAYLINK which designs spaces for child development

Paul Wimpeney, former teacher

Social Workers

Simon Cardy, social worker

Naomi Cole, Family Support Worker,

Prof Ann Davis FAcSS, Emeritus Professor Social Work and Mental Health, University of Birmingham

Alissa De Luca-Ruane – Children and Families Social Worker

Catherine Crowther, Jungian psychoanalyst SAP London; formerly Senior Social Worker in the Children’s Dept. Maudsley Hospital London; formerly Family Therapist CAMHS Royal Free Hospital London

Rupert Franklin, social worker

Nia Higginbottom, former principal social worker

Lynette Hughes, former principal social worker in the children’s dept. of the Maudsley Hospital and retired psychotherapist.  

Leah Levane: social worker

Diana Neslen: retired social worker

Professor Nigel Parton, emeritus professor of child care studies, University of Huddersfield

Cheryl Qamar, social worker, somatic experience practitioner and trauma specialist (based in Kingston, NY)

Liz Richmond, social worker

Hilary Smith, retired children and family social worker

Bethan Welch, former social worker

Irris (sic) Singer retired Social Worker and Psychotherapist, Israel and UK

Youth Workers

Bernard Davies, former youth worker, current advocate and blogger on youth issues

Richard Bush, former youth worker

Ben McConaghy, Youth Justice Practitioner

Robert Pearce, former teacher and youth worker

Richard Phillips, former youth worker

Mark Strange trustee of Citizens Advice Bureau

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