This Give Back Friday, via the KIDLY Family Fund, 5p of every £1 you spend* will go to two amazing charities that are helping families who've had a hard time during the covid-19 crisis. Read on to learn more about their great work.
"2020 has been especially hard for so many families, so we really appreciate KIDLY's support."
Buttle UK CEO Joseph Howes
"Buttle UK has been supporting families in need for nearly 70 years, but 2020 has been especially hard for so many families, so we really appreciate KIDLY's support of our Covid-19 Direct Emergency Response," CEO Joseph Howes tells us over Zoom.
"When we say our Chances For Children grants help to provide the basics, we really do mean the basics - for some, we give vouchers that can be used for grocery shopping and we'll buy carpets to cover damp floorboards in a child's bedroom." But the charity firmly believes that 'essentials' go beyond the bare minimum.
"Children need more than just the absolute basics to feel good about themselves, to engage in their education, to thrive," Joseph insists. "It's the same for my kids, for your kids, for all kids."
Buttle UK often helps families that have relocated because of domestic abuse - a problem that's spiralled during lockdown.
"They might not know a single person in this new neighbourhood," Joseph explains. "So letting the kids choose some new clothes for themselves or some board games for their bedroom, or buying a trampoline for the garden, can be that one thing that makes them feel self-confident enough to invite new friends round.
"Or our grant might pay for swimming or karate lessons to help them build friendship groups outside school and give them experiences that challenge them in different ways. We believe that's essential too - it's part of a child's fuller life education."
Feedback from families helped by Buttle UK:
“We didn’t even have board games at the start, but my kids picked their own games and we’ve had loads of lockdown fun since.”
“Funding the holiday club for the children was amazing - this meant they were doing something exciting and kept them away from the constant reminder of what they've been through.”
“The outdoor play with swings and a slide was amazing for my children - they thought they had a park in their garden!”
“Receiving the laptops was such a relief, this meant my children could access and complete their school work without stressing about getting even more behind."
"Buying a trampoline for the garden can be that one thing that makes them feel self-confident enough to invite new friends round."
Buttle UK CEO Joseph Howes
As of 2020, the organisation has 14,000 trained parent volunteers supporting 27,000 UK families with young children who are facing challenges because of lockdown, or in combination with ongoing problems like isolation, ill-health, disability or money worries.
"We are parents supporting parents."
Home-Start's Matt Hann
Normally Home-Start's parent volunteers visit families at home. This helps them tailor their support and practical advice to that family's unique needs. Which could involve helping an isolated new mum get the confidence to leave the house for the first time, giving a single dad someone supportive to chat to, or helping a vulnerable family access other local resources.
Of course, Covid suddenly made home visits impossible. Home-Start's Matt Hann told us how they coped: 'I'm proud of how quickly our volunteers responded to deliver their services remotely - using the phone, video calls and group chats and arranging get-togethers in the park - even reading to kids over Zoom to keep them occupied for 20 minutes and give their parents a precious break! They also provided thousands of families with deliveries of essential supplies, doorstep visits and activity packs to keep their children entertained."
Their work makes a lasting difference. In fact, it's really common for people who have received Home-Start's support to go on to become volunteers themselves. "We are parents supporting parents and often people who've been through difficulties want to help others going through the same situation," explained Matt. "Becoming a volunteer is a direct and very practical way to give back to the service and community that helped them."
Feedback from families helped by Home-Start:
"They say it takes a village to raise a child - my village became Home-Start and now I am one of the villagers helping other families."
"I’ve finished radiation therapy, and feel so much better. We are looking forward to growing together as a family. I will never forget the compassion Home-Start showed us. Every time I think of them, I smile."
"Home-Start linked me into a way of getting a food parcel. Now I am a volunteer helping people with similar experiences to me - but I think I will still need another parcel myself this week."
"Thanks to Home-Start, after a difficult start, we are fully bonded. Elizabeth started school last September and is doing great."
"Home-Start's there for parents when they need us the most, because childhood can’t wait."
*up to a total donation of £25,000