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Kate Middleton charmed by little girl dressed as a princess as she meets families supported by London baby bank

The Duchess of Cambridge helped to unpack donations for families last summer

Emily Nash

The Duchess of Cambridge was charmed by a little girl dressed as a princess during a call with families helped by the charity Little Village this week.

Kate was chatting to Vicky Jones, who has been supported by the baby bank for more than three and a half years since her daughter Isla's birth, when the youngster popped up on screen wearing a sparkly hairband and dress. 

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WATCH: Duchess Kate charmed by little girl dressed as a princess

"Can she say hello to you quickly?" asked Vicky.

"I'd love that," replied the Duchess, adding: "Hi Isla. You look very nice today. I love your hairband."

"I'm a princess today," the little girl told her.

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Kate spoke with Vicky and her daughter Isla during the call

Told it was snowing outside, Kate said: "No way! Have you been outside? Have you made a snowman yet?"

"No, mummy's too cold," laughed Vicky.

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The Duchess pictured at a baby bank in Sheffield last summer

Kate spoke to families supported by Little Village as the London-based charity celebrated its fifth anniversary last week. 
Since 2016 the baby bank has supported more than 11,000 children by providing struggling parents with essentials such as nappies, toys, clothing and equipment.

Kate was pictured packing boxes for vulnerable families in Sheffield last August as she launched a major initiative bringing together 19 British brands to donate more than 25,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide, including Little Village.

Vicky told the royal how the organisation also provides vital emotional support. She said: "Literally the minute I walked in it was like a huge family unit. It was absolutely amazing. And you didn't feel judged… I don't know where I would be without them."

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The Duchess speaking with Little Village Sophia Parker

The Duchess, wearing a Liv Cotton Merino Collared jumper by LK Bennett, said: "It must be such a lifeline to you to have a support network like this, not only for you but also for your daughter as well.

"Because, you know, looking after yourself as a mum is just as important and it's (great) Vicky that you've got the supportive Little Village for the practical things but also the emotional things as well… help you do the best job you possibly can."

Talking about the coronavirus crisis, Kate replied: "This pandemic has been hard. And I know parenting is difficult anyway, and it’s just been exacerbated during the pandemic."

The Duchess also spoke to Yelda Rashid, whose daughter has Rett Syndrome and has complex needs.

Explaining how Little Village had offered emotional as well as practical support when her son was born during the first lockdown, Yelda said: "Being able to get this care from someone, that was very good for us."

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Kate also spoke with fellow mum Yelda Rashid

She told Kate: "Even just your interest in this means a lot to us. We feel cared about and someone is thinking about us, we are not just isolated here. Thank you so much."

"I'm thinking about you a lot and I really care for families up and down the country," replied the Duchess.

Founder Sophia Parker explained how Little Village have adapted to the pandemic by retraining their volunteers, allowing them to make more than 7,000 calls to families last year as the number of children relying on them doubled.

Sophia said: "It is really important and it's that sense of connection. Someone just asking you how you are, it's the virtual equivalent of offering someone a cup of tea, I guess."

"Exactly," agreed Kate. "That's what I think parents need and what is so important is to know where to reach out to if you're struggling and need help."

For more information or to donate, visit www.littlevillagehq.org

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