Shop for our mums

“What can I get for your mums and minis?”

So, many of you kind and wonderful people ask us “what can I buy for your mums and minis, what do they need?”.

We love you for that. What you are telling us is that you want to help but in a way that suits our mums most. You are people after our own hearts… we adore that attitude.

We have put together wish-lists for what mums need regularly – so please visit and buy what you can – it will be delivered straight to us and go straight to our mums and minis.

If you don’t like buying from this online store we get it – have a look and buy elsewhere.

Baby bag of bliss

We donate a bag of essentials to mums who are going in to hospital to have a baby. It is such an honour to give clothes and essentials to a mum going through this massive journey. Help us by buying items for the bags.

Shop for our mums maternity bags

 

Essentials in an emergency

Sometimes mums have to move in a terrible rush and arrive at a refuge or hostel only in the clothes they stand in. We like to give them a bag of essential toiletries etc to be going on with while they find their feet.

Shop for a mum who has had to move with nothing

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CCB: Campaign for Clean Bums: Newham Nappy Appeal

Magpie Project

There are babies in Newham who have to go too long between nappy changes because their mums cannot afford enough nappies to keep them comfortable.

There are mums in Newham who try to ‘rinse out’ or “scrape off” disposable nappies in order to re-use them as they simply don’t have the money to buy new ones.

Early on in our project we decided to give nappies and wipes to mums and minis who are destitute.

We decided this was a basic human right – to be clean dry and comfortable, and –  if nobody else was going to ensure it –  we would try.

Fast-forward and year and we are regularly seeing 90 babies in any given week. That is a lot of nappies and a bill of more than £1,000 a month for us.

So we are faced with a choice. Stop giving the nappies and face the issues again or – appeal for new sources of income to support our nappy donations.

This is where you come in……

Could you ‘sponsor a bum’ (or two) through regular giving each month.

It cost £15 a month to keep a baby or toddler in nappies and wipes. Clean, comfortable, not red and sore.

If you are game, please fill set up a standing order to

The Magpie Project

Sort Code : 40 06 30

Account: 03837424

If you want to code your standing order Nappies or similar then we will know to spend it on clean bums only.

 

Question: Why don’t mums use re-usable nappies?

Unfortunately we are where we are.

Mums don’t have free access to laundry facilities so the logistics of storing dirty nappies and washing them is just too much for their already difficult lives.

We know in a perfect world we would do away with disposables, but in this case we have decided to help in the only way we see we can,  in this imperfect world.

Question: Surely everyone can afford nappies?

Unfortunately 77% of our mums have no recourse to public funds that means that the basic safety net of benefits is not available to them.

Some of our mums have zero income while we work to get them support at all, many survive on £66 a week to cover everything – food, formula, travel, phone, electricity etc. That is not even starting to think about toiletries, sanitary protection, or expenses such as shoes and school uniform for older siblings.

Please help if you can – sponsor a bum and sleep tight in the knowledge that a baby in our community is clean and comfortable because of you.

Read mums’ stories

Donate online

 

 

 

 

 

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Newham Recorder celebrates Magnificent Magpie Mum

Dupe, our wonderful mum of four – who has been with us since June 2017, is featured in the Newham Recorder this week.  We think you will agree she is an extraordinary and wonderful woman.

Read here

What was not mentioned – and should be – is the support that so many partner organisations give us.

Shelter, London Black Women’s Project, Aston Mansfield, Kay Rowe Nursery school and Children’s Centre. among others.

This support is equalled only by amazing support of you – our community.

So please don’t think for a minute that we think we do this ourselves. We know that it is first the mums, second our supporters who make all this happen.

We are just so happy to have you all on our side. THANK YOU.

 

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Are you a mum on maternity leave? Become a MoM with us!

It is so easy to help out mums with children under five who are living in insecure accommodation. It is as simple as making friends. Simply come along, play, and then go with our mums and minis to another fun session during the week.

We ask for a commitment of 6 weeks only and you will get full training, support and supervision.

What could be nicer than becoming part of the wider community and doing some good just by being yourself and doing what you would be doing anyway with your baby.

Get in touch to talk it through – the first group of volunteers will start in September.

 

Snapshots Flyer-page-001

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We asked the Mayor about the use of B&Bs: this is the response….

At the first full council meeting under Rokhsana Fiaz’s Mayoralty (Mayorship?!) we asked a question – on behalf of our mums and minis who are still being placed in hotels such as the one below – about the use of B&Bs for families.

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She answered. See our question and her response here. We LOVE the words “compassion and care”. We understand – maybe better than most – the enormity of the problem. But we are SO heartened by this transparent and straightforward response.

Question 19 from the Magpie Project

 Southwark council have eliminated the use of paid by the night bed and breakfast accommodation for families. Our social services and housing departments are still placing families fleeing domestic violence or families with children in this poor quality, noisy, intimidating environment. Can the council pledge to move towards a goal of no families with children in b and b accommodation by end 2019.

The Mayor has pledged to tackle homelessness with compassion and care, and the new administration will be looking to transform our homeless services and develop innovative forms of temporary accommodation, as well as increasing the delivery of council-owned homes at social rents. However, we are in the early stages of this new administration, and the scale of the challenge is significant.

 

Unfortunately changes in the Housing market and the Housing Benefit regime since 2011/12 has acted to increase both the numbers and the length of use of this type of temporary accommodation to meet our statutory responsibilities. In 2011/12, the Council received 624 homelessness applications, of which 248 were accepted, but by 2017/18 this had grown to 1793 of which 1143 were accepted.

 

Over the same period 2012 – 2018, the Council has seen the demand for nightly paid accommodation increase, whereby 148 households were in this form of accommodation in March 2012, but this had risen to 2904 households at the end of March 2018. Unfortunately, current forecasts are indicating that these numbers could continue to grow.

 

It has been this Council’s practice for some years to avoid the use of bed and breakfast/shared accommodation for homeless households who have dependant children or a member of the household is pregnant. The Council’s response has been to procure only self contained accommodation for this household group, albeit nightly paid, whilst it is determined whether the Council owe the main homelessness duty.

 

In the circumstances as part of work designed to transform the homelessness offer a health and safety survey has been commissioned for this year of all temporary accommodation, which has commenced with looking at that which is nightly paid. This will culminate in a comprehensive tenant survey.

 

However it is clear that alternative move on accommodation to that which the Council has relied upon for a number of years will continue to reduce and therefore the Council will be  looking at innovative ways in meeting the manifesto pledge to provide additional accommodation at affordable  rents, which includes a  programme of purchasing property, converting Council buildings where appropriate, considering the use of modular housing schemes on the many sites with a meanwhile use in the Borough and collaborative  procurement of private rented sector accommodation with London Councils.

 

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D’s extraordinary journey

When D came to us in June 2017 she and her four children were living on a friend’s sofa.

She had no recourse to public funds and was living on £37 a week – for herself and four children, one of whom has a chronic health condition.

Practical help to start

We supported her by applying for emergency funds through South West Ham Children’s Fund, supplying nappies, toiletries, wipes, food, clothes, and referred her to a food bank.

Empowering introductions to services

Through local councillor Dianne Walls D was able to challenge the level of support she was receiving.

She worked with Shelter and the London Black Women’s Project on her case – while her two youngest children – adorable and characterful boys – played happily with and other children volunteers.

With their help, D was able to make a plea to social services that she needed support and was rehomed into temporary accommodation in November 2017.

Learning, taking part, contributing

D took part in every workshop going:
Financial Capability (she knew more about avoiding debt, being frugal, and which bills to prioritise than the professionals.)
Child weaning, potty training, singing, dancing.

 

D was amazed by our vegan soup and loved it – taking home extra to cook whenever she could. She surprised herself because as she said “I only ever liked meat before!”.

OK she did love Farah from Shelter’s  tandoori chicken at the christmas party too!

Leave to remain!

In February 2018 the news that we had all been waiting for: D was granted indefinite leave to remain in the country by the home office. After years of waiting patiently for the wheels of the system to turn, we were there! (Maybe a few people on the team cried with joy that day, not naming names of course!).

All that the family is entitled to

With the help of the family support worker at the local children’s centre that we put her in touch with she has applied for all benefits due to her.

Now she is actively seeking work through agencies at residential care homes – she will work at night while her children sleep so that she can still look after them in the day.

D and her four children have been rehoused in Manor Park.

She is now a founder member of our steering committee, and has introduced volunteers and other families to the project.

She is a beacon of hope for the mums who are still in difficult situations.

Thank you!

For her endurance, patience, and strength her easy laugh and massive grin- even at the darkest of times – we admire here so much.

This is our love letter to you D. Keep on being you – we are in awe!

To help women like D and her children. Please give what you can. We are not funded by local authorities.

 

To help families such as Ds please donate to our crowdfunding appeal.

Or get in touch to ask us about regular giving.

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We are moving to MAGPIE CLOSE

 

Our new home is going to be:

The Lodge, Forest Lane Park, Magpie Close, E7 9DD.

 

It is a gorgeous little place, with a playground right next to it, on the edge of a park.

Perfect for our little ones to run, jump, get muddy and be kids, all under the watchful eye of their mums and our highly skilled and attentive volunteers.

Why?

After less than a year in existence we have outgrown our first home. The wonderful Aston Mansfield led by Claire, made the Magpie Project possible by allowing us the use of a room in the Froud Centre for zero rent.

We never thought we would fill it. But we are regularly getting more than 40 mums arrive in desperate need of help, housing advice, a friendly face and somewhere safe and welcoming for their under five to play.

So we are having to make a move.

How will you get there?

Nearest train stations are:

Forest Gate, overland train (to be Elizabeth line)
Maryland, overland train (to be Elizabeth line)
Stratford, overland and tube.

Buses:
308 (Wanstead to Lea Bridge Roundabout. Get off at St James School)
Or 25 or 86 bus and cross the bridge from Romford Rd on to Forest Lane.

When?

We are moving from in over the Easter break and back with the same service and more space from April 16th at 10am.

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

 

 

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