New Brent baby bank to support 40 families per week

Renata Acioli and Zahra Merali from Little Village Brent will welcome local families in their Wembley branch

Renata Acioli and Zahra Merali from Little Village Brent will welcome local families in their Wembley branch from December 6 - Credit: Little Village

A new baby bank set to open in Brent hopes to support 40 families each week.

Charity Little Village will provide clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of five from December 6.

The Wembley branch is the charity's fifth, with existing sites in Battersea, Southwark, Camden and Roehampton.

Little Village chief executive Sophie Livingstone MBE said the "sad truth" is that child poverty rates in the borough are "really high".

She said: "We are able to address families’ immediate needs but would love to live in a world where organisations like ours weren’t needed.

"Whilst there is a need, we will do all we can to help. We are reliant on the kindness of local people to donate pre-loved baby gear and volunteer to help us run our sites.

"Please pop in if you’d like to help or visit our website for more information.”

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The branch's community engagement coordinator, Zahra Merali, is "excited" at the prospect of helping families.

Born and brought up in Brent, she's keen to help people from her community who are "going through tough times".

Zahra said: “Poverty carries such a stigma, which can be so damaging to families with young children. I hope through our work we can help to remove that stigma.

“I’d like people to realise that anyone can fall upon hard times, regardless of background. If we can help to alleviate any of the stress and anxiety for families living on low incomes, we will.”

The charity will be administering help from its Park Lane premises, which has been donated on a ten-year lease by residential rental company UNCLE Wembley.

Its chief executive and founder Ryan Prince said the move benefits both the charity and local residents.

He said: "We fully support Little Village’s mission to make it as easy as possible for families to help each other to thrive, which is in line with UNCLE’s mission - 'renting, as it should be'.

Families can be referred to the charity via professionals like midwives, health visitors and social workers.

The charity has over 480 volunteers across its sites and hopes to attract a new team of volunteers to help run its hub in Brent.

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