In this spirit of ongoing support, we are excited to share our latest modest contribution. On 19th October 2023, we donated over 300 items of alternative clothing for children to Little Village's network - underscoring our unwavering dedication to their mission and the broader cause of helping families with young children facing adversity. This recent donation stands as a testament to Psylo's continuous journey of creating a brighter and more inclusive world for those in need.
This article delves into the significance of our donation, the vital work of Little Village, and the profound impact it has on the lives of countless children and their families. Join us as we explore the inspiring journey of how small acts of kindness can ripple outward, creating a brighter and more inclusive world for our community's youngest members.
Little Village: Supporting London’s Youngest Children & Families
Little Village is a London-based organisation that provides support to families with infants and children under the age of five who are struggling with poverty. They operate a network of baby banks, where they collect, sort, and redistribute pre-loved kids’ clothing and equipment for babies and young children. Additionally, a dedicated team offers advice and connections to other support services for parents in need. Beyond their direct aid, Little Village collaborates with families to share their stories and advocate for systemic changes aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty.
Image above: one of the four baby banks run by Little Village in London.
Little Village has established its presence in various London boroughs, including Camden, Wandsworth, Brent, Hackney, and Hounslow. Since their inception in 2016, they have assisted over 24,000 children under the age of five. Their core values revolve around Love, Solidarity, Thriving, and Sustainability, guiding their entire operation.
Their ultimate vision is to foster thriving communities where families can share second-hand essentials, ensuring that every child under the age of five gets the promising start in life they deserve. Little Village's mission encompasses three key objectives:
Providing essential support to families with children under five who are living on low incomes.
Collaborating with parents to address and rectify the systemic issues that perpetuate family poverty.
Encouraging and empowering families to choose and pass on pre-loved children's clothing and essential items.
The Critical Need for Little Village
Little Village's work is of paramount importance in a society where the well-being of our youngest and most vulnerable members is at stake. The dire need for organisations like Little Village becomes strikingly clear when we examine the disheartening statistics surrounding child poverty in the United Kingdom.
In the UK, one-third of all children under the age of five are living in poverty. This staggering figure emphasises the urgency and relevance of Little Village's mission. A nationwide survey conducted in April 2022, involving 1,400 families with children under five who were facing financial hardship, as well as another nationwide research of baby banks, further underscores the extent of the problem.
of baby banks say that children they support are not wearing adequate clothing or shoes, such as having no winter coat, or shoes too small
of baby banks say that children they support don't have a safe place to sleep, for example babies sleeping on towels, sofa cushions, co-sleeping with parents and siblings
of baby banks say that families they support lack basic hygiene products like soap, bubble baths, toothpaste
of baby banks listed rising living costs as the top reason for an increase in families needing their support
In light of these disconcerting statistics, it becomes evident that Little Village's multifaceted approach to supporting families with children under five is not just desirable but essential. Their efforts address both the immediate needs of these families and advocate for systemic change to create a more equitable society where every child has a fair shot at a prosperous future. Little Village is not only helping children under five in the present; they are also working to break the cycle of poverty that can affect families for generations.
Little Village's Initiatives
Little Village's activities revolve around collecting high-quality donations encompassing a wide range of items, including beds, strollers, toys, and hygiene products, all tailored for children up to the age of 5. These items are thoughtfully distributed to local families grappling with various challenging circumstances, such as homelessness, unemployment, low incomes, and domestic violence. Their unique emphasis on pre-owned goods aligns with their commitment to advancing the circular economy.
In 2022 alone, their efforts prevented items valued at £2.75 million from ending up in landfills. Simultaneously, they work diligently to destigmatise the concept of reusing children's items, promoting sustainable consumption practices. Families seeking support from Little Village are referred through a vast network of over 2,300 professionals representing more than 500 organisations, including midwives, social workers, and children's centres. These families have the flexibility to either visit their nearest Little Village hub to select the items they require or engage in a telephone consultation, enabling the direct delivery of essential items to their homes.
Image above: Little Village's 2022 impact in numbers.
Within the heart of Little Village's mission lies an unwavering belief in every child's entitlement to a nurturing and fulfilling childhood. They acknowledge the universal desire of parents to provide their children with the best possible start in life. Tragically, through their work, they have witnessed how families can rapidly become ensnared in the vicious cycle of poverty, a plight now exacerbated by the ongoing cost of living crisis. This recognition motivates them to not only operate as a baby bank but to also position themselves as agents for change.
Little Village provides families with a platform to share their stories and collaborates with like-minded partners, including other baby banks, in collective advocacy for systemic transformation. Little Village takes pride in its association with prominent organisations such as the End Child Poverty Coalition, 4 in 10 – London's Child Poverty Network, and its partnership with Together Through This Crisis, a campaign dedicated to highlighting the pressing issues stemming from the current cost of living crisis.
Psylo's Special Contribution to Little Village
In a heartfelt gesture of support, Psylo made a contribution to Little Village in October 2023, donating over 300 children's clothing items to their network. We take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to Mike for helping with the collection, Sunett for helping with organising the collection, Elizabeth and Alice for helping with communications and stock management, and special thanks to Donna from Friend of Stroud Green School.
This donation reflects our unwavering commitment to Little Village's mission and the broader cause of aiding families with young children facing challenging circumstances. It underscores Psylo's dedication to social responsibility and aligns with our brand's ethos of making a positive impact on our community. We understand that the journey towards positive change often begins with individual initiatives, and we are proud to have played our part in helping Little Village provide much-needed resources to those in need. As we move forward, we celebrate the significance of this special contribution and remain open to future opportunities for collaboration and support. Psylo is committed to advocating for a brighter future for children in our community and to working alongside organisations like Little Village to make that future a reality.
To find out more about the amazing work of Little Village and how you can get involved, please visit their website at: littlevillagehq.org