The Duchess of Cambridge shared a heartwarming moment with a young girl over a video call earlier this week as she chatted to families who’ve been supported by the Little Village baby bank in London.
From Norfolk, Kate chatted with the head of Little Village, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this week, as well as mothers who turned to the organisation for support. Kate learned how the organisation has provided support to families, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to single mother Vicky Jones, Kate said, “It’s a pretty tricky time for everybody, but particularly now during lockdown. I wanted to check in to see how you and your family are doing.”
The Duchess added: “It must be such a lifeline to you to have a support network like this, not only for you but also for your daughter, as well.
“Because, you know, looking after yourself as a mom is just as important and it’s [great] Vicky that you’ve got the supportive Little Village for the practical things but also the emotional things as well [to] help you do the best job you possibly can.”
Kate said that parenting is a difficult job anyway, “and it’s just been exacerbated during the pandemic.”
Vicky told the Duchess of Cambridge how Little Village provided more than physical products to support her and Isla—they’d also provided emotional support. “Literally the minute I walked in it was like a huge family unit,” Vicky said. “It was absolutely amazing. And you didn’t feel judged. I don’t know where I would be without them.”
Little Village describes itself as similar to a food bank “but for clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of 5,” according to its official website. They provide support to families who have been referred to their services by a network of 1,825 professionals, and, since the pandemic began, has shifted from a drop-in service to a delivery service.
Vicky’s three-year-old daughter Isla then joined in the video call very briefly to say hello to Kate. When Kate complimented the youngster on her headband, Isla replied, “I’m a princess today.”
Kate also spoke with Yelda Rashid, whose daughter was born with Rett Syndrome and requires special care. Rashid said that the Duchess’s interest in this area “means a lot to us. We feel cared about and someone is thinking about us, we are not just isolated here.”
Kate replied, “I’m thinking about you a lot and I really care for families up and down the country.”
Her Royal Highness also spoke with Little Village’s founder, Sophia Parker, who explained how the organisation has adapted to the pandemic. Parker said that their volunteers have been retrained to suit new needs, and that has allowed them to make over 7,000 phone calls to families.
“It is really important and it’s that sense of connection. Someone just asking you how you are, it’s the virtual equivalent of offering someone a cup of tea, I guess,” Sophia said.
Kate agreed with her, saying, “That’s what I think parents need and what is so important is to know where to reach out to if you’re struggling and need help.”