A CHILDREN'S charity based in Woodley is appealing for help finding a new premises.

First Days, which is based in Headley Road East, has been given notice to vacate its current base at the end of June, 18 months earlier than it was expecting.

The charity offers practical support to struggling young families, by providing baby and children's clothes, equipment, toys and furniture. It also runs appeals throughout the year for donations of pre-loved school uniform to help older children who are starting school.

First Days is now appealing for help from the wider community to help find a suitable accommodation which can house the huge amount of stock the charity collects, as well as office space for its team of volunteers.

A spokesperson for the charity, Emma Cantrell said: "We are in a desperate situation.

"We had a meeting last week to discuss the planned move in November 2019, and we all agreed that even that would be tight, so to get this news on Monday that we need to leave in three months was a massive shock.

"We currently help around 1,500 families across Berkshire, so we have a lot of stock, which obviously impacts on the kind of premises we need to find. We need somewhere that has a big enough stockroom, but also an area for our 45 volunteers and seven staff to work. It would also need to be accessible enough for donors to drop off items, and for referred families to come and pick up stock.

"The premises that we have at the moment are old, there is a leaky roof and we see mice from time to time, but everyone just mucks in and does what needs to be done. 

"As a charity, we can't afford the high commercial rates, but part of our fundraising goes towards paying our bills. Maybe there is someone out there who has a premises which can't be let commercially and would be willing to help us.

"We would love to stay in Woodley, there is such a lovely community around here, but beggar's can't be choosers. We help families in Woodley, Wokingham, Bracknell, Reading and Slough, so a premises in any of those places would be ideal.

"We have until the end of June, but we need to secure somewhere as soon as possible so we can start moving. It will be a big job."

Anyone who can help First Days is encouraged to email emma@firstdays.net or visit https://www.firstdays.net/ for more information.