Five pounds may not always seem like a lot of money.
Nearly two thousand of the old fivers go through the wash every year, and although it’s annoying, it probably won’t feel like you’ve lost a fortune.
Once the new polymer five pound note went into circulation on 13th September, it didn’t take long for the #FirstFiver to appear on Twitter.
This encourages people to donate their first new note to a charity of their choice and Staffordshire charities know that every single penny counts.
Katrina Cummings from Penkhull donated her first fiver, choosing Peter Pan Centre for children with special needs in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
“My daughter Meliah has been going there for 18 months and they’re absolutely amazing.”
Peter Pan centre provide sessions for children with special needs, no matter their diagnosis, costing 270,000 a year to run and receiving no government funding.
“They’re wonderful with the kids and support the parents as well. There’s also someone to talk to and help,” said Katrina.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to help them stay open.”
Even though their running costs might sound like a lot, even five pounds enables them to provide services that can be literally life changing, not only for the child but their entire family.
“Five pounds would pay for a child’s snacks in a weekly session,” said Chrissie Hunter, the centres fundraising manager.
“That money also pays for the experience that child is getting during that snack time.
“A lot of the children have oral aversion or won’t even sit at the table but through us being able to provide that routine and consistency here, they can start to learn those skills.”
The dedicated time they have at the centre to devote to trying different food is invaluable, enabling them to sit with the child as long as it takes for them to get used to the new skills that will set them up for life.
“Parents come back to us weeks later and say their children will now sit and they can finally enjoy mealtimes as a family.”
These skills will also enable them to sit at school and fuel their bodies with different food, supporting the parents through what may be stressful meal times.
Newcastle based Alice Charity also received their first fiver as a surprise through their door on a Monday morning.
“Even though you may think it’s only a fiver, the fact that somebody has wandering past and thought about us is brilliant. It feels great.” Said Sam Warrilow, Alice Charity’s fundraising manager.
“17% of families in Newcastle and 24% of families in Stoke are living in poverty. Those are the facts.”
Alice already knows how important just five pounds can be and have a scheme called ‘family fiver’ where people can donate money every month.
“If 12 people gave us a fiver we could provide a microwave and slow cooker for a family who are struggling to feed their kids.
“Kids are going to school with hungry bellies not having eaten the night before.
“We try to get in and stop the damage.”
Alice Charity have since had two more #FirstFiver donations, bringing them one step closer to helping a family to eat healthily and regularly.