First Days was started in 2013 in response to needs in the local community in Berkshire. Quite simply: there were people with stuff they didn't need and people who desperately needed it. 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.
Our aim for the charity is very clear: we want to close our doors because no one needs our service anymore.
However, with 4.5 million children living in poverty in the UK we actually need to do the opposite - we need to boldly transform our service in order to launch a project that has the capacity and capability to help children across the UK.
What do we do?
First Days reduces the long term effect of poverty on children by equipping them with the essential items they need for their early years and at school. We believe children should be safe in their home and out and about, be confident at school and have fun! We help facilitate that.
Why do we do it?
Evidence from the Child Poverty Action Group shows that when children, in both their early years and at school, feel that they are equal to their peers they achieve more, do better in exams and can get better jobs.
We know - as a small charity - we can’t change the root cause of the situations that families find themselves in, but we can help the children who are victims of a childhood in poverty to feel more equal to their peers. We believe that all children deserve the same start in life, and our part of that is ensuring they have everything they need materially.
How do we do it?
Every year we reuse and recycle 40 tonnes of donated baby essentials, school uniforms, equipment, furniture and toys and get them to the people who need them the most.
What makes us First Days?
We have led the way in the development of services to practically support children living in poverty and continue with bravery and innovation at the centre of all that we do.
Our service is simple to navigate and understand: we pass things on #FromOneFamilytoAnother, no fuss.
Everything we do is firmly rooted in love and kindness. We believe in the mutual value of doing good and we celebrate it.
We believe that it is no one individual's fault that they are living below the poverty line, and no one individual politician's fault either. Without policy change based on empathy, understanding and a fundamental belief in the good in people, poverty will not be eradicated.