12:00PM, Friday 28 June 2019
The founder of a charity which aims to improve the lives of children and their families has said she is ‘so grateful’ for donations gifted by the Louis Baylis trust.
The Link Foundation is dedicated to providing ‘very basic essentials’ including clothing and school uniforms, shoes, food, cots and beds, and white goods – things ‘people end up living without’.
Una Loughrey set up the charity, which covers Maidenhead and Marlow, in 2006.
She said: “I was just becoming aware that there was quite a lot of poverty in the affluent area we live in. I have three children of my own and I thought we could make a difference in a very direct way.”
She added: “They’re not big donations, but they’re very focused, and very targeted, and they can help people quickly.
“The benefits system is quite cumbersome and sometimes it’s not possible for them to help with small requests and help them quickly.”
For the past four years the trust has given the charity, based in Draymans Lane, Marlow, £2,000 in July and £2,000 in November.
In June the money is allocated to people who need to buy cots and beds for their children – Una said these are the items they get most requests for.
She said: “Unfortunately where we live there are children either sharing their parents’ beds, sleeping on the floor, or on blow-up beds or sofas.”
She also described cases where babies have grown to become toddlers but are still sleeping in their cots.
The donations in November provide £25 grants for families to buy Christmas dinner, including sweets and chocolate for the children.
The charity is made aware of families who need help through a referral system of strategic partners which includes social services, schools, children’s centres and health visitors.
“We are so grateful, the Louis Baylis Trust have supported us for many years,” said Una.
“We can’t assume we will get the donations, but when we do, it’s just so nice because we know we can help more families.”
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