Global’s Make Some Noise 2022: Meet First Days, the charity that aims to reduce the long term effect of poverty on children

7 October 2022, 17:13

'People who are working' now need support from charities

By Maddie Wilson

CEO and Founder of First Days Emma Cantrell told Shelagh Fogarty that lot of people have to budget and look after the pennies but there just aren't any pennies.

First Days was started in 2013 to help the local community in Berkshire. The charity grew very quickly and now, nearly eight years later, we have staff and volunteers and have helped over 10,000 children, and distributed over 250 tonnes of donated goods.

With 4.5 million children living in poverty in the UK this charity aims to launch a project that has the capacity and capability to help children across the UK.

Emma told Shelagh that in the last two years the demand has grown hugely with people "you wouldn't expect" due to a combination of the pandemic and cost of living crisis.

"The thing that's stark is that its people who are working people with two parents in the house working, the type of people you wouldn't expect to need to be in the charity."

She added: "A lot of people have to budget and look after the pennies but there just aren't any pennies.

"There simply isn't enough money to feed the kids, get to work and keep the heating on and let alone provide the things we provide like school uniforms which are hugely expensive."

Make Some Noise
Make Some Noise. Picture: LBC

The charity have previously campaigned against the expense of school uniforms.

Shelagh asked: "Are you feeling any ground shifting on that?"

Emma told Shelagh that although some schools are making some effort to decrease the expenses but not enough to make a difference.

She also spoke to Shelagh that they do is allow children to choose their items in order to give them a choice.

Emma said: "Choice is something that's taken away from you when you don't have any money, you can't choose where you live, what you eat, you go to a food bank you're given a parcel which is great and needed but it's not what you'd buy in a super market."

Emma told Shelagh that 'at least once every week' the charity get a request for a bed for a child that's sleeping on the floor, sometimes without a mattress.

She later added: "The evidence is huge to have a safe and warm place to sleep and it's a basic necessity."

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