Little Village has launched its Christmas appeal for festive gifts for babies and young children.
The charity, which has a base in Nunhead’s Priory Court, hopes to provide Christmas presents for one thousand babies.
It says demand for its help has doubled in 2020 and it is on track to support 6,000 children this year.
The charity is like a food bank but for clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of five.
Due to COVID-19, rather than accepting donations Little Village is asking for supporters to buy gifts vouchers from its online shop.
These will then be sent to families the charity has supported this year to help them buy their child a Christmas gift.
One mum with a toddler age son and a baby daughter has spent much of lockdown shielding, due to her son’s serious health problems.
She said: “This year the anticipation of Christmas is completely different. Financially, I have come into a few troubles and I’m really not sure how I will be able to give them a Christmas I would like with toys and decorations everywhere.
“I know Christmas isn’t about gifts but it’s such a joy for me to see their little faces when they get a toy they like.
“I’ve been looking online at ways I can decorate using recycled bits and bobs and I’m going to use essentials for presents such as a pair of shoes my son needs and some bath wash in a funky bottle or something.
“I have made a meal plan and budget for myself so that I can save money and use what I save for a few small toys.“
Little Village founder and CEO, Sophia Parker, said: “This has been a very hard year for everybody, but especially for families who are struggling financially.
“We’ve seen a huge surge in demand for our support during the pandemic, with many families struggling to make ends meet due to ill health and job losses.”
Little Village’s figures show that around four in ten of the families it supports are being referred to them due to COVID-related unemployment or hardship.