Mum and daughter duo give out birthday boxes for children during coronavirus lockdown
- Credit: Courtesy of Andreena and Renée Bogle-Walton.
A mother and daughter duo have spent the coronavirus lockdown packing and giving out birthday boxes for children in Hackney and neighbouring boroughs.
Daughter Renée Walton was about to celebrate her 18th birthday in lockdown when her and her mother Andreena realised many children may not be able to do the same this year.
Former NHS worker Andreena told the Gazette: “There are people who can’t even think about a birthday celebration because they have to buy food or pay bills.
“Things like that take priority but Renée’s lucky because we can go out and buy a cake, decorations and make a big fuss at home - but there’s a lot of families who don’t have that choice.”
Andreena says she and her daughter have learnt a lot during the project and have been making Youtube videos to update people on their journey.
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“The problem is a lot bigger than we thought. As we’re going around to different food banks we’re learning so much more about what’s actually out there.
“The pandemic is definitely showing there’s a divide between those who have and those who don’t have much but, what I’m seeing, is that those who have and those who have very little are still bending over backwards to help.”
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The mother and daughter team, from Walthamstow, have been working hard to make the boxes which contain all that’s needed for a party such as balloons, vegan sweets, stickers and other items.
They have delivered 10 boxes to the Olive School’s food bank and 10 more boxes to Hackney Quest. Birthday boxes are also being distributed to food banks in Waltham Forest and Haringey.
Renée said: “It’s taken us a lot of time but in a good way because it’s time that would have been filled moping around waiting to get back to whatever normal is – it’s been a really happy distraction for us.
“But there’s only so much we can do with the resources we have – the more donations we get the more boxes we can make.”
The duo have also included in the blank white birthday boxes a crayon for kids to decorate them. They invite families to send pictures of the decorated boxes to their instagram page @my.birthday.box or by clicking here.
To donate to the project click here.
To follow Andreena and Renee’s journey on Youtube click here.