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A ‘baby bank’ is being set up in Hackney to help struggling families

Parents can pick up toys, clothes and other essentials for their kids

Written by India Lawrence

We’re all worrying about the cost-of-living crisis. Sadly, rising prices mean that for some families, affording essentials has become a big issue. Parents are having to make tough decisions about how to spend their money – something that shouldn’t really be a problem in one of the most economically developed countries in the world. But if there’s one thing Londoners do well, it’s banding together to give a helping hand to people in need. 

Fortunately (although we really wish it wasn’t necessary), charities in east London have started Hackney Baby Bank – a centre for families in need to pick up supplies for their wee’uns, up to age five. It opens on May 23, when parents and guardians will be able to get hold of essentials like nappies, clothes, shoes and toys. 

According to Trust for London, 48 percent of children in Hackney are currently living in poverty, compared to the London average of 37 percent. 

Alistair Smyth, director of external affairs at housing charity The Guinness Partnership, told Hackney Gazette: ‘More and more families are struggling financially right now. They’re faced with really difficult choices about what to spend and how, or if they can make money go further. And we’re talking about essentials here – housing, food, energy, clothes – the basics all families need.’

The project is funded by The Guinness Partnership and is being run by Hackney charities Sal’s Shoes, Little Village and Boiler House Spaces. It will operate from Hackney Family Centre off Harrington Hill in Lower Clapton. 

If you want to help out, it’s also looking for donations and volunteers to get involved. 

Sophie Livingston, chief executive of Little Village, said: ‘We are looking for lots of support, so if you would like to donate your pre-loved children’s items, or volunteer to help out, please get in touch.’

Hackney Baby Bank, Hackney Family Centre, off Harrington Hill, E5 9EY. More information here.

London is one of the most expensive cities in the world.

This is what volunteering at a food bank is really like.

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