This week, The Duchess of Cambridge caught up with London baby bank Little Village, who are marking their fifth anniversary this week, to hear how they have continued to support vulnerable families during the pandemic.
The Duchess spoke with several members of the Little Village community on the call, including Sophia Parker, who is the organisation’s Founder, and mothers Yelda Rashid and Vicky Jones. Sophia explained how Little Village have adapted to the pandemic by retraining their volunteers, which has enabled them to make over 7,000 calls to families last year and provide a vital source of connection and emotional support.
Vicky told The Duchess about her relationship with Little Village and the ways in which they have supported her and her daughter over the last three and a half years while Yelda, whose daughter has Rett Syndrome, spoke about the challenges she has faced during the latest lockdown and emphasised the importance of support networks.
Since their launch in 2016, Little Village has supported over 11,000 children and grown into one of the largest baby banks in the UK. Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. Families are referred to Little Village through a network of over 1,800 professionals such as midwives and social workers. As well as providing practical support for families, the baby bank also supports families emotionally, which is particularly crucial during lockdown when families can feel more socially isolated than ever.
Last summer Her Royal Highness brought together nineteen British brands and retailers to donate over 25,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide, including Little Village, to help support the most vulnerable families in the UK. During the pandemic demand has increased substantially, with Little Village supporting double the number of children in 2020 than they had the previous year.