As we approach the half way point of 2023, we think it is now a good time to reflect on what has happened within the charity and what we have done in the first half of the year.
It has been a busy year already and we have already managed to achieve so much with the help of some amazing people.
Though things are always moving and changing, our aim has stayed the same; to provide the services and activities that children need to live happy, healthy, fun and safe childhoods.
Our work in the community
We have been fortunate enough this year to have a huge amount of continued support for the work we do and the children we support. This year we have continued to run our campaigns for children in the community.
We have continued to run our children’s mental health programme, Someone To Talk To. Whilst working with our partner, ReWellness, we have continued to provide free mental health services to children who are unable to wait on long waiting lists or whose families cannot afford private counselling. In the first six months of this year, we have successfully delivered free mental health sessions to 48 children.
Each child receives eight hours of counselling or support, meaning that so far this year we have been able to delivery 384 hours of mental health support.
Since the pandemic, the number of children and young people who are seeking mental health support has grown dramatically. Unfortunately, there is only a limited amount of people that our health service can see. We want to help fill the gaps in children’s mental health services that have appeared and got wider in the last couple of years.
We believe that providing a service like this can help to work towards a stable and healthy childhood for children. We believe that from a healthy, happy, safe and fun childhood, people can grow up into society as responsible and caring members of the community.
The second campaign that we have continued to run this year is our Children’s Community Support Programme. We have hit a huge milestone for us in the first half of the year; since starting this campaign, we have now successfully supported 100 other organisations!
Our campaign that helps to run activities and classes for children for free around the UK.
We are pleased to announce that we have continued to provide free sessions for children to get involved in activities they will enjoy or are interested in with no financial burden to themselves or their families. So far this year, we have been proud to support 10 activities and organisations to help children try something new.
We have received reports that children in many of the areas that we work in are at risk of street violence, gang culture and crime when outside of their homes. With intervention from local groups and organisations who run free groups, we are proud to be providing opportunities for children to be able to try something new and avoid what could be catastrophic life events in a safe place.
We believe in inclusion through sport and want to provide as many opportunities as possible to children around the UK to get involved with the sport of their choice. Through our Sports Team Sponsorship, we can provide the support to clubs, teams and individuals that is so desperately needed.
One of the biggest barriers that children face when trying get involved in a sport is the monetary cost of memberships, kit and equipment. Through our sponsorship programme we have been providing funding for kits, equipment and memberships to those who cannot afford them. Since the beginning of 2023 we have successfully sponsored seven new teams or clubs and have continued to support our other beneficiaries from last year.
The final campaign that we have continued with this year is our Technology Programme. Through our free charity collection in London and free charity collection in Bournemouth, we are given the equipment we need to support children around the UK who do not have the correct technology for their education.
We provide laptops, mobile phones, computers and tablets to children in the UK. We want to see that all children have the same opportunities in education and that no child gets left behind because of the lack of technology or through no fault of their own.
Since the end of the pandemic, schools have continued to teach lessons which are predominantly more technology based. Some children have to share devices with their siblings and family and some children have no accessible technology at all.
This year alone we have provided 153 devices to children in the UK!
We will be continuing all of our campaigns for the rest of the year, maybe even adding some new ones in as well!
Support from others
The support we get from others is what makes Little Lives UK tick. Without support from other organisations, charities and companies, we would not be able to support as many children as we do.
This year already we have received some amazing support from so many companies who all have the same vision as ourselves; to make life better for children of the UK.
At the beginning of May this year we were very generously given donations of care packages at an event to give to the children we support by Leiho, a sustainable clothing brand based in London. The care packages are drawstring bags (donated by Beechfield) and include toys, LEGO (donated by John Lewis), baby clothes (donated by Hunter & Co and Pexmas), a bug spotting nature kit (donated by The Den Kit Co), sweaters (donated by Afternoon Crumbs) and footballs (donated by Alive & Kicking).
We are very proud to have been chosen for support by Leiho and very thankful for all they have done for us. We are also very thankful to all of the companies who donated towards the care packages!
We are also very fortunate at Little Lives UK to be have been supported by some fantastic individuals already this year. Katie Woolf has raised over £2,400 this year by running the London Marathon in aid of Little Lives UK, students from Sutton High raised over £300 for us by taking part in a sponsored walk and Margot is currently fundraising for us by asking for donations instead of receiving presents on her birthday.
Your support so far this year has been incredible and we would could not have done nearly as much as we have without individual’s support.
Throughout the six years that Little Lives UK has been running, we have had lots of partner companies and individuals who bring their unique skills and knowledge to us to help us further our work. We have previously partnered with film makers, clothing companies, design companies, photographers and many more.
In the first half of 2023 we have already partnered with a fantastic photographer named Charlotte Greenslade who has been taking photographs of our shops for our online content.
We have also partnered with Marshmallow Games who have provided us with licences for an app called Smart Tales that has been designed to make the learning of maths and English engaging and fun for children. With their support, we are able to give out these licences to children who are in need of some extra support with their learning.
Our amazing volunteers and interns
Each year we are extremely lucky to have some fantastic volunteers work with us, both in our shops and in our head office. We are glad to see that we are welcoming back long-term volunteers Joy, who works with us in our head office and Irfaam, who works with us in our charity shop.
We want to say a huge thank you to both of them of them for their continued work with us.
We are always happy to have new volunteers and interns join us so we can help them with their career progression, help them find what they would like to do as a career and to put their unique skills to use.
Volunteering with Little Lives UK can be an extremely rewarding use of your time where you could learn new skills, find a vocation in life and help to support a charity that is helping children around the UK who are in most in need.
Thank you to everyone!
We are extremely proud of the work we have been able to do already this year but know that we couldn’t have done any of it without the support of so many people and other organisations.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far this year, we are truly appreciative and look forward to the second half of the year when we can offer support to so many more children around the UK.