Friends for Families Sevenoaks
This year, the Sevenoaks Panto team will be supporting the Sevenoaks based charity, Friends For Families.
People are often surprised at the level of poverty in Sevenoaks, but in fact it’s increasing. According to figures provided by the organisation End Child Poverty, in May 2019 there were 5,237, or 21.9% of children in Sevenoaks District living in poverty, rising from 3,787 in January 2018.
Friends For Families, established just over a year ago, was specifically set up to help families within Sevenoaks District, who are struggling with financial hardship, and steps in where Children’s Services identify a need for direct, practical support that could not otherwise be provided.
Children’s Services have praised Friends For Families ability to take direct action, saying “The generosity and speed with which the charity assists families, where otherwise there would often be unmet needs, makes a real difference. The ongoing work and support is deeply appreciated and valued by the families, and by the social workers who approach the charity with requests. Examples have included provisions of vital furniture and bedding, enabling children to participate in social activities outside of their home, and providing items such as toys and bikes. Over Christmas many families were extremely grateful for the toys and gifts made available.”
Families assisted by the charity remain anonymous, but one Sevenoaks family recently wrote to say “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I’m not entirely sure how you do it, but I cannot put into words how grateful we are. Through your kindness we can actually look forward.”
Friends For Families rely on the support of the local community to fund their work, and the trustees are very excited to work with Sevenoaks Panto this year. Their Treasurer, Debbie Griffin, said of the partnership “This is a dream come true for us. We are thrilled and grateful to have the support of the wonderful team at Sevenoaks Panto as well as their audiences. It will enable us to raise much needed funds and to reach out further into the local community to raise awareness of our work.”
If you’d like to know more about Friends For Families do have a look at their website
www.friendsforfamilies.org or their Facebook page
Together, Sevenoaks Panto and Friends For Families aim to bring a little happiness to more families in need this year!