Its pretty simple in my eyes why we do what we do. Some people get it, some don't. In a conversation often repeated between myself and Emma the bottom line is - Kids don't ask to be born into a life of poverty, they don't ask to go without, to have less than their friends, to be hungry, to be 'the poor kid' or to be bullied over not having the latest trainers or a new school bag at the beginning of each term.
9 out of 30 children in the UK live in poverty. And that makes me sad, in fact it brings tears to my eyes. How is it fair that these innocent children just don't stand a chance?
4 million children in the UK living in poverty - thats 28% of children - thats insane.
The sad fact is that children who are born into a family that is struggling to make ends meet do less well in life. Of course there will alway be the exception and on the whole these people will often reach the extreme in terms of success. (insert Will.I.Am as an example). And in turn these kids will do less well as adults, earning less. As history repeats itself, and its just not their fault.
THIS is why First Days exists, our aim, our mission, our goal is to help end child poverty. There really is no reason in this day and age that children should have to suffer. To go without, to not do as well as their peers in school, to have the same opportunities as their friends.
The funny thing is that people have a funny perception of what poverty is, often thinking that people put themselves in desperate situations, or prefer to be claiming benefits and not working. You tell that to the Mum I saw last week who has £50 to feed her 4 children as her husband has been made redundant and her 2 children need decent school shoes that are £38 a pop in Clarks. Or the lady that has been suffering with domestic violence for 5 years and has finally broken free with her 2 children and living in a half way home.. I could go on and on.
Whatever our or your opinion is on every individual situation the bottom line is that - Its not their fault. And I need to do I can everything I can to help these children, to help them get the best start in life. To try and stop them being cold, wearing clothing that is too small, wearing shoes that are too small. And by giving them toys and books to helps them enjoy their childhood.
I live and breathe First Days, since joining last year I can't think of a more worth charity and a better place to work. With people who feel the same, we are commited to making a difference to families that are referred to us.
So if you are a family in need, or you know of a family who could use our help. There is no assessment criteria, a family just needs to be referred by a childcare / family professional (GP, Teacher, Family Worker, Social Worker, Pastoral Care Worker, Nursery Assistant) and we will do what we can to make life a little easier.