Jana is a mum to an 8-year-old girl, and baby Saskia. She received support from Little Village when she was pregnant with her second child, and recently shared her story with BBC London news. Jana said:
“I came to Little Village when I was pregnant. I was working as a full-time teaching assistant, but after I’d paid rent and childcare, there was hardly any money left. I couldn’t afford the things I needed for the baby.
“I didn’t want to ask for help … I’ve always worked, always tried my hardest, I found it very difficult. I felt bad, like I should be providing for my own children, but the first time I spoke to Little Village, they made me feel like ‘it’s ok, we’re here for you, we’re going to support you.’
“I got a pram, it was amazing! I also got nappies, baby clothes, books, toys, a crib. A volunteer brought it to my house. It made me feel overwhelmed, it was a mixture of emotions – I felt upset, happy, thankful … but I didn’t want to find myself in a situation like that.
“I don’t earn much. We live in a tiny studio flat – my daughter and I share a bed and Saskia is in her cot.
“My electricity bill has tripled since last year and I use less electricity than before. I don’t know how we are going to live. We need electricity to cook and you can’t tell your child to do their homework in the dark.
“When the bills have been paid, I’m left with about £40 a week. In the shops, the prices are unbelievable.
“I am skipping meals – I didn’t have to do that before. I want my daughter to have the food, she’s growing, she needs to eat. Even in Lidl, the prices have gone up. It’s affecting everyone, but it’s especially affecting people who don’t have much money.
“I hope the Government notice what is happening … for them to know that people like me, who are working, are struggling.
“Look at the bankers! It is shocking. I don’t understand why no one can see what is happening. This is supposed to be a wealthy country and actually it’s the kids that are suffering, whole families.”
If you would like to help families like Jana’s, please donate your pre-loved equipment and clothing for 0-5s. We also accept financial donations to help us to keep our hubs open and running, and welcome new volunteers.