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15 March 2022

Press release: Kama sutra and umbilical chords amongst 'weirdest donations' received by baby banks

Little Village press release

Embargoed until Wednesday 16 March

Kama sutra and umbilical chords amongst ‘weirdest donations’ received by baby banks

Little Village, a London baby bank charity, has released a list of the ten most unusual donations it has ever received, including the Kama Sutra, two dried umbilical chords and an ‘intimate tickler.’

Little Village is experiencing a shortage of donated items and the list has been released as part of a donation drive to encourage people to donate their excellent quality, pre-loved children’s items.

The charity provides essential items and advice to families of under 5s going through tough times. Most of the items it gifts to families are pre-loved and the charity is reliant on donated items.

Following a survey of Little Village’s 40 staff members, the ten weirdest donations it has received are:

  1. A copy of the Kama Sutra
  2. A graduation gown
  3. An “intimate tickler,” complete with feathers and black lace
  4. A tin of spam in a buggy
  5. Barnacle shell nipple protectors
  6. Two dried up umbilical chords
  7. Little ‘hats’ to put on baby penises to stop the wee spraying up when you change nappies (‘pee pee tee pees)
  8. A bag of stones and mouldy bananas
  9. A tooth
  10. A Licki Mat slomo (a lick-able dog treat feeder)

Little Village CEO, Sophie Livingstone MBE, said:

“We’re usually in the market for teddy bears and storybooks, not sex manuals and kinky accessories, so these donations certainly raised a few eyebrows at our donation sessions! This list is a bit of fun, but we’ve released it to raise awareness that we are in urgent need of high quality donations including buggies, cots, and children’s clothing.

“In recent months we’ve experienced a drop in families donating to us. With the cost-of-living crisis hitting, we suspect people are having to sell baby kit, rather than give it away. This means we’re short of many of the items we need to support families on low incomes who face even tougher times in the coming months.

“If people would like to donate items to Little Village, there is a wish list on our website where you can see what we need and how you can donate it. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who takes the time to clean and check their donations, which are often sent to families needing support within days.”

Little Village isn’t the only baby bank to receive some unusual donations. Baby Aid Birmingham said they had received: a novelty bell that says ‘Ring for Beer,’ a Weight Watchers meal, an open pack of condoms, medical syringes and some cat food – all hidden inside bags of donated toys and clothing and all from different people.

David Barker from Baby Aid Birmingham said: “We’re never sure whether these donations are accidental or a deliberate joke. Either way, it’s always a bit of a surprise to receive them! Luckily most of the things we receive are exactly what we need to support local families.”

Little Village wish list of items needed at the moment:

  • All good quality kit from newborn up to age 5 – including beds, buggies, bedding, books, toys, feeding and bathing kit etc. Please ensure donations include all parts and instructions where possible.
  • Clothes and shoes sorted by age and gender apart except for clothing in sizes 12-24 months.

You can find Little Village’s toiletries wish list here. This list includes small gifts for the mums it supports for Mother’s Day.

Little Village has never been busier and helped over 6000 under the age of five so far last year. It expects 2022 to be its busiest year yet, with thousands of families feeling the financial impact of COVID-19, rising fuel costs and a cut to the temporary uplift to the Universal Credit benefit.

Ends

Notes to editors

Photo caption: Donations received included a tin of spam in a buggy.

For those wishing to donate money to Little Village, the fundraising page is here.

There are photos of some of the top ten weirdest items, please contact Emma Gibbs, Communications Manager on 07593 135790 or emma@littlevillagehq.org

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