Get to TESCO and VOTE Magpie!

The Magpie Project is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative. Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of up to £4,000, up to £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects.

The Magpie Project is one of three groups in the Newham region to be shortlisted to receive the cash award.


BUT HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN! Shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for January and February. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

For our part, here at Magpie we are really excited about being chosen to compete for funding. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to gain much needed money that will go straight to supporting East London’s most vulnerable mums and children.

Voting is open in all Tesco stores throughout January and February. Vote using a token given to you at the check-out in store each time you shop.


To check the location of any of the above stores, please go to the tesco website here:


Please share with all your friends and family, let’s win the £4,000 for our wonderful Magpie Mums and Minis.

Thank you!!







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Art for good

Thank you to Jan Porter for using her wonderful art show to support the Magpie Project’s mums and children. She, Ardyn Griffiths, and Jack Chauncy took a collection at the show as well as allowing a percentage of sales to go to us.
They raised a staggering £150.
That supports 20 families to come to the project, access lunches, play and help, and take home nappies for the week.
An incredible achievement and a generous gesture.
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Visit John Lewis to raise funds for mums and babies in need in Newham

John Lewis Westfield have agreed to include the Magpie Project as one of their Community Matters charities for the period of December 2017 and January 2018.

From this week (starting 4th December). You will be able to go


in to the Westfield Stratford store and vote for our charity to gain a share of £3000.

The tokens and the voting booths are in three parts of the store:

  • Click and Collect.
  • Customer Services area
  • The Cafe.

Please, please, please take the trip to John Lewis every time you are in Westfield and drop a token (or two!!) in the  box for us.

  • £3 gets a family to the project to access help.
  • £7 keeps a baby’s bum clean and comfortable for a week with nappies and wipes, and
  • £120 could buy us a laptop that could keep track of our mums and children to make sure that they are referred to the right places, and that they are safe and engaging with the help they need.

So imagine what we could do with £3,000!

Go on, VOTE for us. It is one vote that is absolutely guaranteed to make a massive difference.

I want to do more.

I want to know what difference the money will make.





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What we do works


Clara was made homeless Thursday last week.

She was evicted from her home in a neighbouring borough and housed on a temporary basis into a Newham. Clara is an incredibly educated woman – with professional qualifications that most of us can only dream of – a true expert in her chosen field of work.

Nevertheless due to circumstances beyond her control, and none of her own fault she found herself coming to us on Monday having been placed in a single room in Newham with her two children.

When Clara got to us, we sat her down, shared a cup of tea with her, and talked through how we could help. It turned out that most of her life is well under control, she is on maternity leave from a great job – all she really needed was a home.

She said ‘who can I speak to?’

When Clara asked who she should speak to, we were able to point across the room, past the play-do and the ball pit, to Farah, our wonderful housing advisor from Shelter who was, at the time, deep in discussion on the merits and demerits of Lidl nappies at the time!

She and Clara sat down. It was clear that Farah needed to take on her case.

Skip forward three days. And Clara is on her way to moving in to a new home.

Clara has been rehoused.

A week! Now that is how ‘temporary’ we would love all ‘temporary’ acccommodation to be!

Clara and her children are now moving in to a house in a nearby borough, still close enough to the project to visit if she needs any more help.

Don’t get us wrong it does not always happen like this. In fact this is the second time it has happened so fast since we started in June. The vast majority of our cases involve untangling multiple problems around immigration, housing, family etc. But how wonderful when all the stars align and it does!!! When all it takes is finding the right place to go and the right people to talk to.

Working together to get results

So who was involved in getting this result to Clara?

Thank you to the referrer who took quick action to signpost mum to us.

Thank you to mum who made the massively brave step to walk through the door.

Thank you to our team of incredibly dedicated volunteers who welcomed her, gave her tea, and chatted until she felt comfortable enough to share her story, shared lunch with her

Thank you to Shelter who have been insanely supportive even when the project was just an idea and now send the fabulous Farah to us each week.

Thank you to Aston-Mansfield who allow us to operate in their premises.

And thank you to every Newham resident, business and family that support us.

Working together, joining the dots, communicating with other voluntary and statutory organisations.

This sort of multi agency, community focused working (or people coming together to care as it used to be called) is how things get done!

Let”s spread the word, and keep on keeping on!


Why we do what we do

Get involved


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How do we play?

How do we play?

We have trained early years specialists to support our children in the stay and play.

We listen and let the children lead
They spend their time listening, reacting, helping children move their learning to the next step. We have an ex-head of a nursery and children’s centre, and she helps assess where the children are, and what they would respond to best in their learning.

We support early speech
We support early speech by mirroring children’s words, letting them lead the play, and giving them space to let their imaginations go. We also get mums involved whenever we can.

We create amazing collaborative artworks
We are lucky also to have an amazing visual artist to work with our children. She uses natural and easily found materials to make wonderful extraordinary items. Last term she printed booklets from our mark-making, this term she is creating stick, twig and leaf pieces with the children.

What we are learning
Children are learning to co-operate, create, concentrate, to make decisions about texture, colour and form. Their hand-eye co-ordination improves, and their fingers become stronger and more dextrous – ready for writing when it is time.

But don’t tell them they are learning all these things ….  for them it is all just a sticky, messy, exciting fun!





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Claire Nigel and Raphe’s story

Celebrating a special boy, by sharing the love

“We used our son’s Welcoming Party to raise funds and spread awareness of the Magpie Project. I wanted to use this joyous occasion –  celebrating the life of a very  loved child – to remember that love is something deserved by every child. 
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we are incredibly lucky to have that strong foundation on which we can build and grow as parents. Through the generosity and support of family and friends, we are able to give our son, not only practical things needed for his development, but also our time and attention – free from worry, we are able to be present and loving with him and show him that the world wants him in it. 
The Magpie Project is a fantastic charity that strives to ensure that children and parents living in precarious or unstable circumstances do not miss out on this. Parents are given  stress free environment in which they can fully give their time to their children and laugh and play, or alternatively know that their children are being looked after by dedicated play workers while they talk with local professional in order to improve their circumstances.
This charity embodies everything that we want for our son and what we would like to help the Magpie Project to contribute towards the lives of other children. We look forward to doing further fundraising for this wonderful organisation!”
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