The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Little Village hub in Brent on Wednesday 8th June to hear how the baby bank is supporting local families by ensuring that they have access to essential items for their young children. During her visit, The Duchess met staff and volunteers from the centre, in addition to a family who are currently receiving support.
Little Village is London’s largest baby bank network with eight locations across the capital, providing a warm, supportive community for families who might be going through tough times. The charity equips families with clothes, toys and essential items for babies and children up to the age of five, including nappies, beds, buggies and toiletries, as well as linking them with key services.
Families are referred to the charity via a network of professionals such as midwives, health visitors and social workers, and can either receive items through home deliveries or by coming into their local centre. Since launching in 2016, Little Village’s team of over 600 volunteers have responded to nearly 20,000 requests for support across London, reaching over 22,000 children.
Little Village Brent opened in November 2021 and aims to help around 40 families from the borough of Brent each week. During her visit, The Duchess met some of the centre’s volunteers as they sort through donations, and heard more about how Little Village works with each individual family to understand their personal needs and preferences in order to provide a tailored package of support.
When families visit Little Village hubs in person, the charity works to ensure that they are treated with love, kindness and dignity. The Duchess also met a family who are being supported by Little Village Brent to hear about their experiences of using the centre, including the impact of being able to choose for themselves the objects that they need from an extensive stock of high-quality donated items.
The Duchess’ visit to Little Village Brent forms part of Her Royal Highness’ longstanding work to support families. In the summer of 2020, The Duchess brought together nineteen British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide, operated by Little Village, Baby Basics and AberNecessities. Her Royal Highness has also previously visited baby banks in Sheffield and West Norfolk where she spent time helping to unload deliveries, sort donations, and spoke with families about their experiences of using their local baby bank services.