For some parents and carers trying to manage on ever-tighter household budgets in Croydon, there’s been a small ray of kindness amid all the pressures of the cost of living crisis after a major shoe retailer donated more than 41,000 pairs of children’s shoes to a national charity.
Charity Home-Start UK have described the gesture by shoe retailer Russell and Bromley as “an incredible package of kindness”.
Independent estimates of the value of the donation, based on average retail prices, reckon it amounts to close to £500,000-worth of goods.
Derek Terrell from Home-Start Croydon told Inside Croydon, “The families we support are so grateful for this wonderful donation of shoes. It will make such a difference.”
Russell and Bromley approached the charity asking if they would like the gift of shoes, which range in sizes to fit children from infants to adolescents.
Vivien Waterfield, the deputy chief executive of Home-Start UK, said: “It is a really tough time for parents right now. Families who would otherwise struggle to afford new shoes, or have to purchase on a buy now pay later arrangement, can enjoy seeing their children wearing a new pair of shoes without any worry.
“Families are already benefiting from the impact of this generous philanthropic gift by Russell and Bromley.”
Already, 25,000 pairs have been delivered to 16 Home-Starts across London and the south-east.
A spokesperson from Russell and Bromley said: “We pride ourselves in the charity relationships we endeavour to nurture and are delighted that we are able to help Home-Start families in this way.”
Russell and Bromley has been a fixture on British high streets since 1880, synonymous with expert craftsmanship and fashion-led design, specialising in luxury shoes and handbags for men and women.
Last year, the brand reviewed the continuation of its children’s range and decided to gift their existing stock to a good cause.
Home-Start Croydon is one of more than 180 Home-Starts across the UK, supporting parents facing issues including postnatal depression, isolation, bereavement, coping with twins, financial worries and physical disabilities.
Through a network of trained volunteers, families are matched with a volunteer who visits once a week for two hours to support in whatever way they need – it could be as simple as holding a crying, colicky baby so a mum can shower in peace, accompanying a mum to a toddler group to help her build confidence, supporting parents with a sick child in hospital or helping with advice around managing budgets.
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