New research by London’s baby bank network, Little Village, has revealed that increased living costs are creating fear amongst parents ahead of winter.
Three quarters (74%) of London parents said they were worried about keeping their children warm this winter. There was particularly concern for those with the youngest children aged between 0-5 years-old, with 77% of parents feeling worried. They also feel more anxious about providing warm bedding, boots and shoes than the those with older children aged between 6-18 years-old.
Nearly half (49%) said they will need to cut back on essentials to pay for heating in order to keep them cosy. A third will resort to dressing their children in outdoor clothing such as hats and coats indoors, including at during the night (24%) and 15% will avoid being at home.
Many parents are worried about being able to afford essential winter warmers for their children with just under a half (40%) reporting that they’ll struggle to buy a coat or snowsuit, and 38% boots or shoes.
Little Village has launched its Winter Warmer campaign and is calling on families that can, to donate their children’s pre-loved cosy kit (0-6 year) such as winter coats, snowsuits, jumpers, sleeping bags, shoes, boots and blankets. The items will then be sorted and given to families that need them.
In 2022, Little Village gifted over 5,109 coats and 2,290 blankets and is expecting demand to be significantly higher this year. By August the charity had already supported 50 per cent more families across London than at the same point in 2022. The latest figures from End Child Poverty research show that 33 per cent of children are living in poverty in London.
Sophie Livingstone, CEO of Little Village said: “Each day we hear about the impossible choices families are having to make, and with colder weather on the horizon, the pressure is mounting.
“We are asking London families who can, to help us ease the burden by passing on their cosy clothes. So please explore those cupboards and drawers for pre-loved coats, blankets, boots that we can give to children that need them.”
The research has given some hope with over a third (38%) of London families ready to pass on good quality winter clothing they no longer need at home.
There are lots of ways to donate: