About the Trust

The Lady Allen Trust is a small organisation, offering up to two grants of approximately £1,000 per year to play practitioners who wish to travel to expand their knowledge, raise awareness and make new contacts. We meet three times a year at the Thomas Coram Foundation to conduct our business.  The Trust is made up of Trustees from IPA and also from KIDS and OMEP (an international early-years organisation). Lady Allen had a key role in establishing all three organisations.  Below is a summary of those organisations with links to discover their current work.

Organisation Mondial Education Prescholaire (O.M.E.P)

OMEP is an international non-governmental organisation founded in 1948 with members from across 70 different countries. It has consultative status at both the UN and UNICEF. The organisation's focus is on early years education practices across the world.

OMEP has a research focus and works with other multinational organisations, civil and governmental policymakers. One example of this work is looking at the field of maternal and perinatal health and how mothers and very young children can be better supported. OMEP has a Parenting and Families Research Group and an Early Intervention Group that looks at the ethics of early intervention practices.

OMEP UK has an Early Childhood for Sustainable Citizenship Award that early years settings can take part in. The organisation also runs a series of regular online seminars related to early years education and support. OMEP has both international and UK Facebook pages. For more information please visit https://www.omep.org.uk


KIDS is a charity for disabled children, young people, and their families. The organisation provides practical, life-changing and creative support, empowering disabled children and young people to amplify their voices and champion their rights.

For more than 50 years KIDS ( formerly known as HAPA) has provided a wide range of services nationally for disabled children, young people, and their families. KIDS services cover information, advice, family support, play and social activities and learning and development.

KIDS acts with disabled children, young people, and their families to change the system and secure the resources to which they are entitled. Above all KIDS empowers disabled children and young people to achieve equal rights and opportunities, creating a more inclusive society for all. For more information  please visit https://www.kids.org.uk

International Play Association (IPA)

IPA is an international non-governmental organisation founded in Denmark in 1961. It has national branches from around the world and on every continent. It is an interdisciplinary organisation and embraces as members people from all professions working with children, especially those interested in children’s play. A key aim of the organisation is to share and support good practice and ensure people can network effectively with one another.

Each national branch organises its own activities and an international conference that brings its members and interested people and organisations together is held every three years. IPA has an active online presence and organises international online seminars and discussions that enable members from around the world to network and share ideas and information. IPA also works closely with many other international organisations and is recognised by the UN through consultative status with UNESCO and UNICEF. IPA has an international Board of Directors and an International Council made up of individual national branches. For more information visit https://ipaworld.org