London child poverty charity, Little Village, calls on public to help provide Christmas gifts for 1,000 babies and children
Little Village, the charity tackling poverty for the under 5s, has launched its festive campaign, Merry Little Christmas, asking the public to help provide gifts for 1000 babies and children.
Due to Covid-19, the London based charity is unable to accept donated presents so has launched a new online shop, where people can buy gift vouchers, which will be sent to the families it has supported this year, so they can buy their child the perfect gift.
Little Village is like a food bank, but for clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of five. The charity has seen demand double in 2020 and is on track to support 6,000 children this year.
Lauren, a mum supported by Little Village, has a toddler son and baby daughter. She has spent much of lockdown shielding, due to her son’s serious health problems. She said:
“This year the anticipation of Christmas is completely different. Financially, I have come into a few troubles and I’m really not sure how I will be able to give them a Christmas I would like with toys and decorations everywhere. I know Christmas isn’t about gifts but it’s such a joy for me to see their little faces when they get a toy they like.
“I’ve been looking online at ways I can decorate using recycled bits and bobs and I’m going to use essentials for presents such as a pair of shoes my son needs and some bath wash in a funky bottle or something. I have made a meal plan and budget for myself so that I can save money and use what I save for a few small toys.“
Little Village founder and CEO, Sophia Parker, said:
“This has been a very hard year for everybody, but especially for families who are struggling financially. We’ve seen a huge surge in demand for our support during the pandemic, with many families struggling to make ends meet due to ill health and job losses.
“We usually accept hundreds of donated gifts at this time of year, but sadly Covid has put an end to that. That’s why we’ve set up this voucher appeal, so the children we normally give presents to don’t miss out.
“It would be incredible if every child is able to experience the pure joy of receiving a present they have always longed for, but we can only do that with your help.“
Little Village statistics show that around four in 10 of the families it supports are being referred to them due to Covid-related unemployment or hardship. Meanwhile, 95,000 children under the age of 5 are living in absolute poverty in London. 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.
Vouchers can be purchased for as little as £5 and all donations will be spent on gift vouchers for Christmas gifts. People can also include messages of support when they purchase their voucher, messages will be passed on to families when the vouchers are sent out.
To buy a Little Village Christmas voucher, please visit https://littlevillagehq.org/christmas