Some children will have to wear coats and hats indoors this winter, says charity

Desperate parents are planning to dress their children in coats and hats indoors and overnight this winter in a bid to keep them warm, a charity which runs a baby bank network has said.

Mothers and fathers struggling in the cost-of-living crisis have told of their worries about being able to keep their homes heated as the colder months draw in, the Little Village charity said.

The organisation, which supports families with babies and children under five living in poverty across London, said its research had shown the lengths parents are having to go to to make ends meet.

A small survey of 500 London parents found that 49% said they will need to cut back on essentials to pay for heating, and a third will resort to dressing their children in outdoor clothing while indoors, including during the night.

The majority (74%) of the London-based parents and carers surveyed online last month, said they were worried about keeping their children warm this winter.

According to the Mayor of London’s office, more than 600,000 of the capital’s children live in poverty.

Last year, Little Village gave out more than 5,000 coats and 2,290 blankets and said it is is expecting demand to be significantly higher this year.

By August, it said it had already supported 50% more families across London than at the same point in 2022.

The charity is seeking second-hand items including coats, blankets and boots for babies up to six-year-olds, as part of its Winter Warmer campaign.

Sophie Livingstone, chief executive of Little Village, said: “Each day we hear about the impossible choices families are having to make, and with colder weather on the horizon, the pressure is mounting.

“We are asking London families who can, to help us ease the burden by passing on their cosy clothes.

“So please explore those cupboards and drawers for pre-loved coats, blankets, boots that we can give to children that need them.”