Hackney’s poorest children endure third-world conditions

Thousands of Hackney children are living in third-world, Dickensian conditions, according to a charity which coordinates a Winter Toy Appeal to help the very poorest.

Claire Reay, Manager of the Ivy Street Family Centre, said poverty levels are the worst they’ve ever seen. She’s appealing for urgent donations of new toys to give to the poorest children this winter.

Please donate a new toy or gift for a child aged 0-18 – you can shop local and donate in person at various drop-off points in Hackney (see below for details) or buy via the Wishlist www.toyappealwishlist.com

“It’s a choice of ‘heating’ or ‘eating’ for many families- the children get fed but they’re constantly cold and there’s certainly no money left for toys".

Each year The Ivy Street Family Centre take referrals from dozens of schools, children’s centres, hostels, hospices, social workers and the Homerton Hospital for children living in terrible poverty and she distributes toys collected by family website StokeyParents to children in most need.

She said: “It’s no exaggeration to say the families we are meeting and hearing about are living in third world conditions. It’s a choice of ‘heating’ or ‘eating’ for many families – the children get fed but they’re constantly cold and there’s certainly no money left for toys. Without the Winter Appeal they wouldn’t have a new toy at Christmas."