A Healthy Home for Every Child

Bromley Relief in Need and Bromley Brighter Beginnings are partnering to deliver a new joint campaign – ‘A Healthy Home for Every Child’

The aim of this campaign is to raise funds to provide basic kitchen appliances for families in need, living in the London Borough of Bromley.

Many families do not have a fridge to store perishable food in, or a cooker with which to prepare hot meals. With the current rise in food poverty and many families struggling financially, we will provide eligible households with white goods to enable them to feed themselves and the children in their care with healthy, nourishing, warm meals. We will be working with a local supplier of kitchen appliances to ensure prompt, safe delivery and installation of the necessary items.

The need for this kind of support for families is very real. Across the UK, a staggering 1.9 million people are living without a cooker; 2.8 million without a freezer, and almost 1 million without a fridge, according to Turn2Us’s #LivingWithout campaign. Their report highlighted London as one of the country’s worst-off areas in terms of ‘appliance poverty’.

Our campaign will provide fridges, fridge freezers, gas and electric cookers, microwaves, slow cookers and kettles for families referred to us by local professionals who support them.The impact on families of not having these essential kitchen appliances is far-reaching.  Read below how it affects them not just financially, but also physically and emotionally.

Financial
FINANCIAL

Buying ready-cooked food to go in a microwave, or pre-packed sandwiches for example, is far more expensive than preparing food from scratch using a cooker or with items kept fresh in a fridge. Relying on microwave meals adds £2,100 to the annual food bill for a family of four.

Without a freezer, families can’t bulk-buy to save money, or freeze leftovers for another meal.

Having to shop every day as you can’t store fresh food in a fridge/freezer is on average 43% more expensive than weekly visits to a supermarket with a planned list and access to cheaper food items.

Many families are forced into taking out high-cost credit on extortionate rent-to-buy schemes to obtain the appliances they need to feed their families - prices often end up as more than double due to interest rates. This can exacerbate their existing financial difficulties and may lead to them ending up in a spiral of debt which is hard to get out of.

And the cost of living with faulty or inefficient white goods can add upwards of £100 to energy bills every year, meaning that new, high-performing appliances are also a money saver for families.

PHYSICAL
PHYSICAL

Not eating properly can have many effects on people’s health.

In particular, poor nutrition or going hungry can have a real impact on children’s education.

Hunger can affect a child’s ability to learn and retain information, as well as their behaviour and mental wellbeing. Poor nutrition can make it less likely for children to reach their developmental goals on time and achieve their potential at school. “Children experiencing food insecurity are more likely to suffer from anxiety and stress, and hunger in childhood has been linked to depression and suicidal episodes in teenagers. Hunger is also linked to increased levels of chronic illnesses such as asthma.” (quoted from iNews article October 2020)

Households which are able to store food, prepare and serve fresh meals are contributing to the shaping of lifelong healthy habits for children, and facilitating life skills such children learning to cook from scratch, which they can take with them into independence and a continued healthy lifestyle once they leave home.

Emotional
EMOTIONAL

Living without basic items in your own home can have serious mental and emotional consequences. Parents often speak of feeling depressed, upset and inadequate when they are not able to afford basic essentials to enable them to take care of their family.

Our case studies below illustrate the emotional impact that appliance poverty can have on families who are already living in difficult circumstances.

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“Household appliances are not luxuries: they are essentials. Everyone deserves the simple right to store their own food, cook their own dinner…..people who currently live without white goods face huge economic, physical and emotional penalties. We all want to live in a society where these social injustices are no longer tolerated.”

 – Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive of Turn2us

“If you’re on minimum wage with a zero-hours contract, or you’re disabled, or have learning difficulties or mental health issues, then providing decent food day in, day out is difficult…it only takes one emergency – your cooker or fridge breaking down, for instance – and then what? You haven’t got any savings….so you’re now in crisis and you’re tempted to take out loans at exorbitant rates to fix the problem. The other option is to not heat your home, not pay the rent or not buy food. Things can very quickly spiral out of control.”

– Clare Hackney, co-founder of Community Stuff (as quoted in the Guardian article Why are millions of children in the UK not getting enough to eat?)

We welcome any donation you can make to help us support families in need.

If you are a local business and would be interested in supporting us as a partner, please contact alisa@bromleybrighterbeginnings.org.uk.

Please join us in working towards our goal – to ensure A Healthy Home for Every Child across the London Borough of Bromley. We believe no child should go hungry.

Thank you.

Donate now to help families in need



You’ll be making a real difference to local families’ lives.
Your donation towards these kitchen essentials will enable them to put warm meals on the table for their children.

Case Studies:

Stacey was living in a local mother and baby unit in Bromley when her referrer contacted BBB.  She was a young single mother with very limited social support, and was attending college three days per week with the aim of being able to get a qualification and then a job. Because of Stacey’s age – she was under 18 at the time – she was only entitled to a reduced benefit rate and was finding it hard to afford essentials. BBB was able to provide Stacey with a microwave for her room in the unit.  This allowed her to prepare food and formula without having to go down to the main kitchen, which had meant she always had to take her baby with her. 


Single mum Sarah had three children, the youngest just six months old. She was on benefits, repaying debts and all the money she had left went to feeding her children and surviving day to day. When her cooker was condemned by her gas company she knew there was no way she would be able to buy another. BRIN stepped in to provide a new cooker so she could prepare healthy, nutritious meals for her children.


Haya was a single mum, expecting her fourth child, and was entirely dependent on benefits.  Due to her poor mental health and lack of support from the children’s fathers, she was really struggling psychologically.  Her referrer contacted BBB as Haya’s fridge-freezer had broken down.  We were able to provide her with a new appliance which meant Haya felt more prepared for her new baby – she told us that “we couldn’t imagine” the difference it would make to her day-to-day life, and her referrer reported that getting a new fridge-freezer gave her a real boost and made her feel as if someone cared enough to help her out. 


Nalah, a single mum to two children, one with complex special needs, had been struggling on a low income throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and relying on food bank deliveries. When her fridge freezer broke she had nowhere to store their cold and frozen items. She knew she couldn’t save up enough to replace the appliance but happily BRIN was able to step in and purchase a new one.


BRIN was able to help a local family receive a new fridge freezer after theirs broke. The family were struggling financially due to illness and job loss and as they were in the process of switching benefits to universal credit, they were living on just £35 a week. They were relying on donations from the local foodbank and had nowhere to store food. 


Emma was working up to 30 hours between two jobs each week but her referrer told BBB that she was struggling to make ends meet for her and her six-year-old daughter.  Due to weekly repayment of rent arrears, Emma could not afford a fridge for the home she was moved into by the council.  Our charity provided this essential appliance meaning that Emma could store fresh food for herself and her daughter, including vegetables and dairy products, as the summer was coming and keeping things on the windowsill was no longer an option. 


Tracy and her two children were experiencing financial hardship after fleeing domestic violence. Tracy, who was attending college, was receiving universal credit, and also trying to pay off several debts. She was having to buy food on a daily basis as she had nowhere to store it, and was finding this was having a significant impact on her already very difficult financial situation. BBB was able to provide her family with a new fridge freezer, so they could store food and freeze batch-cooked dinners, thus helping to provide healthy, balanced meals for her children


New mum Alicia had a 12-day-old baby, her fridge had broken, and she did not have the funds to replace it. BRIN were quick to help her buy a new fridge, as she urgently needed somewhere to store milk.