Little Village is a new charity, set up in autumn 2015 by a group of local parents in Tooting. We provide good quality baby clothes and equipment, donated by local families, to local families who need this kit but can’t afford to buy it.
As we all watched our babies grow, we realised that there was nowhere we could pass on this kit to other local families who needed it too. It seemed like such a terrible waste – in fact, every year, an average of £3500 of clothes ends up in landfill for each child in the UK today. It turns out we weren’t alone in our frustration, and within a month there were 300 local parents supporting Little Village’s work.
Even before our formal launch we were inundated with donations – unopened changing mats, whole sets of pristine clothes from birth to 2, cots, bouncers – often brought to us with new toys and gifts for parents too.
As we get into the swing of 2016 we’ll be hosting regular events where people can drop off their unwanted stuff and help us sort donations. Meanwhile we are busy building partnerships with the health visitors, social workers, Children’s Centres and faith organisations who have a deep understanding of which families may most benefit from Little Village’s support.
Our volunteers put together bags of kit for these families. We want our bags to feel like gifts, rather than hand outs, so we try to include goodies for the mum where we can, and we only pass on items that are good enough quality that we’d give them to a friend.
We’ve been inspired by other similar ‘baby banks’ around the UK and elsewhere. In particular the amazing work of Stripey Stork in Surrey and St Kilda Mums in Australia encourages us to keep going here in Tooting!