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We did it!

Local parents pulled out all the stops to bring gifts to Hackney’s poorest families

 

Families in one of London’s poorest boroughs have united in a remarkable gesture of kindness and community spirit to make sure Santa visits every child this winter.

 

Hundreds of families in Stoke Newington responded to the StokeyParents Winter Toy and Food appeal by donating new toys and festive treats to be handed to families experiencing hardship. More than 600 presents and numerous bags of food were donated.

 

The appeal was launched in response to the news that 42 per cent of Hackney’s children live in poverty.

 

Jenna Fansa, founder of StokeyParents, said: “Our appeal really struck a chord with local families and their generosity has moved me to tears. Every few days I'd go to our collection points to pick up toys to bring home and wrap and each time I was blown away by the volume of toys donated and the generosity and thoughtfulness shown.

 

“We had so many toys my home looked like Santa’s grotto for weeks and wrapping was a mammoth task.

 

“It’s a real gesture of community support for families who are finding things exceptionally hard this year – I hope it will provide comfort and that the gifts will create a moment of magic.”

 

The appeal was backed by the estate agency Location Location who accepted donations in their Stoke Newington Church Street shop, printed fliers and rallied support.

 

On Tuesday December 16th the donations were presented to the Ivy Street Family Centre and Growbaby in Hoxton  and they will be distributed to Hackney’s poorest families via midwives, social workers, a women’s refuge and schools. Many bags of food donations were delivered to the Hackney Food Bank.

 

Toys include top-of-the-range scooters, books, games, puzzles and soft toys, remote controlled cars, building toys, stationary and dolls.

 

Angela Large, Manager of the Ivy Street Family Centre, said: “Every week we are seeing families who are referred by their midwives, social workers, health visitors and food banks or referred to Growbaby for help with their little ones. Some have no access to public funds, they live in cramped rooms in a temporary place and they don’t have much at all – certainly nothing nice.

 

“This winter appeal will remind families in need that they’re cared about and that there’s a supportive community willing to help.  It will definitely put some smiles on children’s faces.”

 

You can still support the charity by donating funds here: 

www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/wintertoyandfoodappealhackney

 

 

 

Did you know?

 

  • 42% of Hackney’s children live in poverty. As thousands of local children look forward to a special Christmas this year, hundreds are at risk of homelessness. Their families are dependent on the local food bank for survival – finding cash for presents isn’t an option. 

 

  • Right now around 55 families are at immediate risk of homelessness in Hackney and many more are living in temporary hostel accommodation.  This year 191 local families were declared homeless and 2,029 Hackney children are living in temporary accommodation.

 

  • Factors causing homelessness locally include mental health problems, drug and alcohol abuse, low literacy, behavioural problems of children which threaten tenancy, physical disability or ill health, separation, immigration and inability to work.

 

  • The Hackney Food Bank meets three times per week (in Stoke Newington, Upper Clatpon, Hackney Central and Hoxton) 

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