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Charity urges public to help provide Christmas gifts for over 5000 babies and young children
London-based baby bank charity, Little Village, has launched its festive appeal, Merry Little Christmas, asking the public to donate money to help provide gifts for over 5000 of the capital’s most vulnerable babies and young children.
The charity has set up a fundraising page where people can donate money which will be used to buy gift vouchers for the toyshop, The Entertainer. The vouchers will be sent to families in the run-up to Christmas.
Every donation will be doubled, thanks to The Childhood Trust and a generous donor, who are helping Little Village to reach its fundraising target.
Little Village is a baby bank, providing clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of five. It has hubs across London in Camden, Wandsworth, Battersea, Roehampton and Southwark and Brent.
The charity hopes to send gift vouchers to many of the 5000 children it has helped this year – a significant number of whom may otherwise wake up on Christmas Day to find that Father Christmas has not visited.
Sophie Livingstone MBE, CEO of Little Village said:
“Lots of the children we support have lived through unimaginable circumstances including homelessness, being refugees, or those whose families are trapped in poverty and are unable to afford to pay the bills, keep the house warm or provide enough food.
“When you’re struggling to make ends meet, buying Christmas presents can be impossible. We need people to donate so that we can provide gift vouchers for thousands of children who may otherwise receive nothing on Christmas Day.
“By sending gift vouchers, we are enabling families to choose a gift they know their child will love. Families know better than anyone else what their child would love to receive.”
A parent who received a gift voucher from Little Village last Christmas said:
“Thanks a million for the vouchers, I was able to buy two board games for my son that kept him busy and helped us to bond. I wrapped them up and put them under a mini-Christmas tree. My son could not wait until Christmas and on Christmas Day his first words were: ‘Can I open my gifts now?’
“I have never celebrated Christmas before with gifts under the Christmas tree but the voucher provided me with the impetus to do so and now I know that it will be part of our lives for years to come.”
When asked about what difference receiving the vouchers will make, a mum supported by Little Village, Amara* (not her real name), said:
“The vouchers will make a huge difference … with that I will get my son a nice gift. As parents we don’t give ourselves gifts or anything like that. The main priority is always the child … you want your child to be happy. I know it sounds a bit clichéd, but the truth is that once your child is happy, it makes you happy. It will ease the pressure a lot.”
The appeal launches at midday on Tuesday 30th November and closes on Tuesday 7th December.
Notes to editors
Merry Little Christmas
You can donate to the appeal here: bit.ly/31gW1bU
All donations up to the fundraising target of £35,000 will be automatically doubled, thanks to the generosity of gift match donors who are supporting the campaign.
If the generosity of our supporters exceeds the number of gift vouchers we need to buy, these additional donations will be used towards our general funds to help Little Village to continue to support families in 2022 and beyond.
About Little Village
Little Village is a baby bank, providing clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of five. Little Village accepts donations of excellent condition, pre-loved items, which are passed on to families who need support. It operates out of three main centres in London, in the boroughs of Wandsworth, Camden and Southwark, and are powered by around 500 volunteers. Little Village is one of the largest baby banks in the UK, supporting over 11,000 children since we launched in 2016 – including 7,281 children in 2020 alone and over 5000 in 2021.
Child poverty statistics
Little Village / Joseph Rowntree statistics show that of the 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK, 1.3 million are under the age of five. Around 43% of children living in families with at least one child under five now live in poverty. The charity hopes its campaign will bring joy to families making some very difficult decisions, like those it sees who skip meals to feed their children, or keep the heating off to keep bills down.