It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a challenging year. The impact of Covid-19 has affected many industries, individuals and sectors. As a charity, it has been no different for us, as for large parts of the year, our three stores were sadly forced to shut. Despite these challenges, Little Lives UK has still managed to help out hundreds of disadvantaged and disabled children this year through our monthly campaigns. Here is a review of the year we’ve had.
At the start of the year, Little Lives UK’s main campaign focused on helping support Richard House Hospice in Beckton. They provide 24-hour specialist care for babies, children and young adults who have life threatening health conditions. They additionally provide assistance and accommodation to the families of those affected.
We were under no doubt that we wanted to support the hospice in the work they do, and so we made a donation of £850 to pay for music therapy and playtime supplies for the children.
Little Lives UK additionally donated a number of educational books and science kits, along with many toys. We were thrilled to see how pleased the children and families were with our donation.
As we entered spring, the situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic quickly escalated, resulting in a full national lockdown at the end of March. Our stores were consequently shut, and our upcoming campaigns were put on hold.
However, Little Lives UK took this opportunity to assist many school children, who were unable to attend school due to their closures. The closure of schools put a huge strain on the educational system, particularly for many children in our local community who could not access online learning platforms that would help them.
Thanks to a number of donations from our customers, we were able to provide several laptops to local children to assist them with their learning, in order to make sure their education was not negatively impacted. In May, we were able to deliver brand new arts and crafts kits, educational games and puzzles to the students at Broadwater Primary School in Tooting, to help their students with their home-schooling and family life.
Moreover, Little Lives UK sought to support health care workers during lockdown, donating to three care homes in Morden, Putney and West Wickham with free health and safety equipment to ensure the safety of the carers and residents. We supplied each care home with a number of masks, hand sanitizers and gloves.
As the situation regarding coronavirus gradually eased over summer, we were delighted to be able to reopen our stores at the beginning of July. After being closed for three months, we were so pleased to be able to welcome back our customers.
One major campaign, which we originally had planned before lockdown, was to work with Uptown Youth Services, a youth centre based in Colliers Wood, London. Uptown runs weekly activities with young members of their community who struggle with their learning. Their sessions help these young members to improve their social skills and gain more confidence.
Little Lives UK made a donation of £5,000 which drastically helped Uptown during a challenging period. We also donated a number of fun resources to the centre, in order for their members to have the best possible experience. Nearing the end of summer, we were thrilled to also donate over 20 tablets and iPads to Queens Park Primary School. These devices were to be used by the school to aid the children with their studies. Furthermore, Little Lives UK set up an exciting t-shirt competition at the school. We tasked the children to use their creativity to design our new charity t-shirts, with the winners receiving a free iPad. Thanks to all their efforts, we have our new exciting charity t-shirts which we hope to be printed in the new year.
As part of a continuous campaign, Little Lives UK managed to donate over 200 technological items throughout the autumn. These items were delivered to schools, refugee centres and councils across London, to help many disadvantaged children.
In November, we proudly decided to continue supporting Feltham Community Boxing Club, funding the club for another year. We wanted to make sure that Chris and his team could continue organising weekly sessions for the many local children that attend. Little Lives UK understands the power sport can have for young children. The club inspires children to stay out of trouble and learn more about the sport, which has been said by parents to have hugely helped their children, particularly with their behaviour in school.
Recently, Little Lives UK funded resurfacing works in the outdoor area of Tree Tops Short Break Unit in Dartford, which is our largest donation to date. Tree Tops provides children with disabilities, aged 5-18, with a welcoming and friendly environment that they can treat as home. The outdoor area of the facility, that the children frequently use and enjoy, needed maintenance work to be done in order to make it more suitable for the children, who would then be able to play much more freely. We were delighted to hear that the children love the new outdoor area. Unfortunately, however, as more cases of coronavirus spread across the UK, we were again forced to close our stores, for four weeks in November, and now recently again in December.
This year has been a challenge for Little Lives UK, with our stores being shut for nearly half the year. Despite this, we are so proud to have supported many organisations in the amazing work they do, and to have helped many children across London with our donations. We hope to have our stores open again soon. In the meantime, if you would like to help us continue our work in 2021, then please donate through our website. We are relying on your donations more than ever.