As part of the historic coronation celebrations, King Charles III invited millions of Britons to support causes in their local community as part of the Big Help Out. The volunteering drive has been billed as a lasting legacy of the crowning of the new king.
We’ve written before about the fantastic work of our charity partner The Magpie Project who support mothers with children under the age of five living in temporary or insecure accommodation.
As it’s just a 20-minute train ride from our offices, we at Black Swan have adopted this great cause as our local charity and try to visit as much as we can.
Late last month, we headed down to spend a day helping out the project with a very special “Clothes Club” event. Read on to find out more.
Helping local mums and children “shop” for donated clothes and toys
Each year, The Magpie Project support mums and their children in Newham with a special “Clothes Club” event.
Many of the mums the charity supports are in desperate need of clothing for both themselves and their children, and this is one of the critical ways The Magpie Project aids local parents.
The project hands out tokens to attending mothers, and they can exchange one of these tokens for an item of great quality donated clothing.
Around 10 mums were booked in for their “shopping” appointment every half an hour and there were staff on hand to look after and entertain the children while the mothers had half an hour of valuable time to look for and choose clothes.
In addition, mums were also able to choose to use one of their tokens to “buy” a toy for their child – and that was our role for the day!
Toymaker Hasbro had very kindly donated a selection of brand-new toys, and we manned and looked after the toy stand.
It was an incredibly humbling experience to see the delighted faces of local children picking out their toys and seeing the incredibly positive impact the project has on the community.
Donating much-needed supplies to local families
The Clothes Club event relies on donations, and local individuals, businesses and organisations had risen to the challenge magnificently.
While there were racks of great quality clothes to choose from, Black Swan donated copious amounts of toiletries for local mums, including:
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Soap and shower gel
- Sanitary towels
- Breast pads
- Cotton wool and baby wipes.
Mums were able to take home a selection of these items alongside fresh fruit and vegetables. There were even tea and cakes on offer!
Additionally, The Magpie Project were also able to hand out 20 brand-new pushchairs. One of our tasks on the day was to assemble these – after some initial scratching of heads at the instructions we became experts by the end of the day!
Ruby from the Black Swan team says: “We love to see and experience first-hand what a tremendous job The Magpie Project does in bringing a community together in a tough area of London.
“We were taken aback by how humble and polite the mothers and children were and how grateful they were for their gifts.”
Help out this great cause
Our next visit to The Magpie Project will be in the coming weeks as the charity are soon relocating to new premises – and we will be helping them with that move.
If you’d like to help us support this amazing cause, you can make a donation on The Magpie Project’s JustGiving page.