A Place of Freedom: ATD UK Frimhurst Family House

“Surviving a life in poverty is getting harder and harder as Government policies become more punitive and divisive. This creates feelings of fear and insecurity, it drains your energy and can make you ill. Having a place to go to where we are not judged, can dare to trust the people around us and be free to be ourselves is a lifesaver. Frimhurst gives us strength to carry on, knowing we are not alone in our struggles.”

Moraene Roberts, ATD activist and volunteer
in ATD UK National Leadership Team

“What can I do to actually help put things right? To which the answer we gave was, to spread the word, let people know that poverty does exist.”

Eric Knibbs, ATD activist and volunteer
at Frimhurst Family House


“Frimhurst: A Place of Freedom” is  a new ten-minute film celebrating the work of ATD in the Frimhurst Family House.  Over the past 60 years the House became a sanctuary where families struggling under the weight of poverty can rebuild their lives in dignity, free from stigma and discrimination.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Surrey is a Victorian manor house set in a tranquil woodland park. For 60 years, families struggling under the weight of poverty have found acceptance at Frimhurst.

At Frimhurst, families living in poverty can enjoy a wide range of activities alongside others in similar situations. Frimhurst is a place to share experiences, develop supportive relationships and form new long-term friendships. This network of support is essential in recognising and building upon the strengths of a family, while working alongside them in overcoming the challenges they face and promoting societal change.

Persistent poverty has a devastating impact on all aspects of family life.

At Frimhurst, ATD UK promotes the wellbeing of the whole family in a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental environment. The respite breaks, capacity building projects, skill-sharing and volunteering opportunities are designed to help the whole family build confidence, learn new skills, explore their creativity and create happy memories. Many who stay at Frimhurst go on to become anti-poverty advocates and spokespersons for ATD at a local, national and international level.

The film features the voices of people with first-hand experience of poverty and of parents, who have lived or stayed at Frimhurst. They speak from the heart about why Frimhurst Family House, the location of ATD’s residential programme, is such a unique and important place. They highlight the importance of creating a safe supportive and non-judgemental environment for the whole family… somewhere away from the day-to-day pressures and anxieties of a life in poverty.

Made to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Frimhurst Family House, Frimhurst: A Place of Freedom was produced for ATD UK by journalists and film-makers Ofelia de Pablo and Javier Zurita.

Discover also… the story of Mary Rabagliati, the member of the ATD volunteer corps, who first met Grace Goodman, the founder of Frimhurst Family House. She was the first British person to join All Together in Dignity in 1962, at the age of 20.