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Local charity to create Christmas memories for 1000 homeless kids

Local charity to create Christmas memories for 1000 homeless kids

Little Village

Little Village, the Balham-based ‘baby bank’ is calling on the public to support its One Gift campaign to provide 1000 homeless children with Christmas presents. 

Little Village is like a foodbank, but for clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of five. Its latest findings show that:

  • Just over half of the 1000 families it supported in 2018 are homeless, with the majority living in temporary accommodation provided by local authorities.
  • 1 in 5 families are working, but still struggling to make ends meet because of very high housing and childcare costs.
  • 1 in 3 have no recourse to public funds and are living on £35 a week.
  • Many are fleeing domestic violence or struggling with mental health problems.

Nearly half of children growing up in London are in poverty, with around 5000 of those in Wandsworth.

Little Village are asking for donations of small gifts as many of the families it supports move around frequently and can’t transport larger items. It works with children up to the age of five, so gifts need to be suitable for babies or children up to five.

Chief Executive of Little Village, Sophia Parker, said, “Many people don’t realise that there are thousands of children in Wandsworth without a permanent place to call home. Whether living in a hostel or short-term let the circumstances can be very difficult, especially for families with babies and young kids.

“Lots of the homeless families we support are struggling to make ends meet and can’t afford the basics like food, nappies or clothing, so presents are simply not a priority. 

“It breaks my heart to think that a large number of these children may not receive a gift this year which is why we’re asking people to support our One Gift appeal. The idea is simple – you donate a gift and we pass it on to a homeless child.

“We know that presents don’t fix poverty, but we also know from experience the huge difference receiving a small gift can make. And we can only do that with your support.”

If you’d like to support the campaign, gifts can be dropped off at Little Village, St Mark’s Church, 53 Rowfant Road, SW17 7AP between Monday to Thursday, 9-2pm, or Monday and Tuesday evenings between 8 and 9pm. Alternatively gifts can be bought through the charity’s Amazon wishlist:

The charity asks that gifts (toys or books) are new, and wrapped with a label indicating the age and gender of the child it is suitable for. 

To date, Little Village has responded to over 3000 requests for help across its three sites. Little Village collects donations of high quality baby and children’s equipment, like cots, buggies and nappies, as well as clothing, and gives it out to local families in need. As well as providing material items, it provides emotional support via a network of over 150 volunteers for the families who visit. Little Village works with a network of 300 referral partners like midwives, health visitors and children’s centres to identify those families who would benefit most from their support.

Find out more about Little Village on their website, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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