There have never been so many families living in poverty in the London Borough of Bromley. Emma Martin of Bromley Brighter Beginnings explains how you can help this Christmas.
The London Borough of Bromley is a relatively affluent area, but beneath the surface there is more destitution than most people realise. End Child Poverty’s latest figures, published in January 2018, showed there are 4,674 children living in poverty in Bromley and Chislehurst. That’s 22% of the children in the area. Last month, the United Nations’ rapporteur Philip Alston reported on the extent of poverty throughout the country. The costs of austerity, the report concluded, have fallen disproportionately on the poor, women, ethnic minorities, children, single parents, asylum seekers and people with disabilities. And you may have seen the recent Channel 4 Dispatches programme which revealed the growing number of parents now relying on baby banks to provide their young children with nappies, clothes, toys and cots.
Since 2012, Bromley Brighter Beginnings has been donating essential items such as prams, nappies, clothes and cots to local families in need. This year, we launched our ‘Bed For Every Child’ campaign. So far, we have provided around 45 children in the borough with a proper bed, often the first they have ever had, having previously slept on the sofa, floor or shared a bed with a parent or siblings. We hope to continue to run this campaign in 2019, but we need funds with which to do it.
Can you make a donation this Christmas, and help provide a local child with a bed? Donations made via our Just Giving page mean that we can add Gift Aid (JustGiving) . Or,if you are buying Christmas presents online, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. It’s free, easy to use and is at no extra cost to you. It also means you can help to make a difference, even if you can’t afford to donate directly. Click on https://smile.amazon.co.uk/, and select Bromley Brighter Beginnings as your charity of choice.
Other ways in which you can help include joining our Facebook group and inviting your local friends (Facebook), and following us on Twitter to help spread our message (@BrighterB).
Bromley Brighter Beginnings is a registered charity run exclusively by volunteers. We aim to provide practical assistance to those in crisis, and families in need are referred to us by health professionals, family support workers and teachers throughout the borough. Should you work in any of these sectors, please be aware that you may be in a position to refer to us, meaning we can reach more people in need. Or perhaps you work for an organization that could consider supporting Bromley Brighter Beginnings on a regular basis? Please do contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss. Further information about our work is available on our website (http://www.bromleybrighterbeginnings.org.uk).
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the volunteers at Bromley Brighter Beginnings.