About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

This event took place on Tuesday 7 November. You can watch the recording below.

The cost of living crisis in the UK has plunged many families into poverty, with millions more children set to be growing up in disadvantage before they start school. 

At Nesta, we believe that a child’s first years set them up for lifetime success. Children that live in poverty are at greater risk of poorer future outcomes because their families lack the material resources needed for their children to thrive, leading to increased stress for parents and a lower ability to meet children’s nutritional, social and learning needs. What can be done to support families living in disadvantage? What solutions are required to alleviate the impact of poverty on children's outcomes?

With over 20 years working in the social sector, Sophie Livingstone is making a significant contribution to relieving the impact of low income and improving outcomes for children from poorer families. Sophie is the CEO of Little Village, a children’s charity supporting families with babies and children living in poverty across London. Since launching in 2016, their baby bank network has supported more than 24,000 children under five.

Sophie joined Nesta’s fairer start Deputy Director Louise Bazalgette to discuss the impact of child poverty on early childhood development and what we can do to alleviate this for families.

Why you should watch the recording

This free online event was for anyone interested in finding solutions to alleviate the impact of poverty on child outcomes, whether you work in child poverty campaigning, in government, for local authorities or as an early years professional.

Sophie and Louise talked about Little Village’s work, explored why child poverty has intensified in recent years and shared how people can support disadvantaged families in their local communities.

The opinions expressed in this event recording are those of the speaker. For more information, view our full statement on external contributors.



Sophie Livingstone


Sophie joined Little Village as CEO in February 2021 and has spent over 20 years in the social sector. She was the founding CEO of City Year UK, a charity enabling young people to tackle inequality through doing a year of voluntary service in schools and served as Deputy CEO of the Private Equity Foundation (now Impetus-PEF). Most recently she was Managing Director of Trustees Unlimited, a B-Corporation focused on strengthening and diversifying charity boards. Sophie was the Chair of Trustees at Little Village from 2018 until September 2020 and was previously Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Generation Change and a trustee of the Royal Voluntary Service. She was awarded an MBE for services to charity in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.