We're a team of volunteers and parents based in SE15 and SE22 who want to bring Little Village to our own borough of Southwark, where there are over 8,000 children under 5 living in poverty - more than 1 in 3 in the borough. In some parts of the borough, more than 40% of children live in poverty. We can help do something about this.
As parents ourselves, we know it can be tough and isolating, but it's unimaginably so for a parent who's really struggling to provide for their kids, so we want to make it as easy as possible for families to help each other. We've seen the amazing work done by Little Village at their existing sites in Wandsworth and Camden and now we want to bring all that practical help and support to our own neighbourhood in Southwark.
What's Little Village?
Little Village is like a foodbank but for clothes, toys and kit for babies and kids up to the age of 5. We collect great quality donations from local families and get these out to the families who really need them through friendly weekly drop-in sessions.
How does it work?
- The donations of clothes and equipment from local families will provide a lifeline for families who are struggling to provide for their kids, but our drop-in sessions are also friendly, social occasions and a chance for us to signpost families in the direction of further sources of support.
- We want to create a small, warm community of families helping each other and putting kindness into action, so it it's really important that our donations feel like gifts from one family to another and not hand-outs. We only accept high quality donations, and we always try to include a treat for the parents in our bundles, be it some nice chocolate or some bubble bath.
- Our weekly drop-in sessions will be held in the Ivy House, London's first co-operatively owned pub, located in SE15. The Ivy House will offer a welcoming and social space for families to visit to collect the kit they need. The Ivy House has a beautiful 1930s interior and is the perfect venue for us to welcome families into.
- We've secured a hall immediately behind the pub to use as a large stock room for our donations of clothes and equipment, including bulkier items like cots and buggies. We'll also use this space for local families to drop off donations to us and as a volunteer depot.
- All the families Little Village supports are referred via a network of referral partners including health visitors, midwives, children's centres and food banks. We'll be working with these referral partners to ensure that we reach the families who need our support most.
What people say about Little Village
"I really appreciate the help and support you have given me. Thank you for treating me with dignity."
"You've helped me to give our children the start in life they deserve."
Why are we raising funds?
We really need your help to get our storage spaces ready for us to start receiving and sorting donations from local families, so we can begin getting items out to the families who need them most. We need funds to plaster and decorate the hall, put down new flooring and carry out some repairs to the building.
We need your help to make this happen, so please donate. You can also help us by sharing details of our crowdfunder far and wide and shouting about Little Village from the rooftops.
We're grateful for all donations, no matter how small, but thanks to the support of so many local businesses we also have some brilliant rewards up for grabs on a first come, first served basis, from fish and chips to fizz via dance classes, folk music and coffee! Scroll down for a full list of the businesses who have supported Little Village Southwark.
Little Village HQ will match fund the first 5 pledges of £100.
Where possible we'll email prizes, otherwise we will arrange collection sessions from SE15.
What will Little Village bring to our community?
- The child poverty rate in Southwark is 37%, with some parts at over 40%. Many of the families Little Village has seen to date don't have a safe place for their children to sleep and struggle to provide basic essentials like clothes, toys and books for their kids. We want to help do something about that.
- At the same time, there's an estimated 183 million items of outgrown baby clothing stashed away in UK homes. Many parents throw items out as they're not sure what else to do with them. Little Village Southwark will offer an easy, social and sustainable way for families to put outgrown clothes and kit to good use.
- As our name suggests, Little Village is about families supporting each other. We promote social interaction and reduce isolation and loneliness; in doing so we want to help build a more integrated community and make our neighbourhood an even better place to live.
- We empower the families we support and give them a voice in our organisation and opportunities to get involved, if they'd like to.
- There'll be plenty of chances to get involved, including as a volunteer. Volunteering is fun, social and empowering, a chance to meet new people, put your existing skills and expertise into action for our community and learn new skills. We'll all benefit from having a new and exciting project in the neighbourhood!
Please donate and support us. Thanks very much.
Drawing in posca pen (55 x 72cm) called The Second Party of the Day. Get in there early and pledge £100 to grab it!
It takes a village! Many thanks to the following for supporting our launch:
Hardings, Cheltenham Road
Sailors, Cheltenham Road