The rise of Baby Banks in Essex
18th March 2021
Essex families struggling to afford clothing and other essential items for their newborn babies and children are being given vital help by Baby Banks around the county.
An increase in the need for such support has resulted in Baby Banks being opened in Braintree, Tendring and Billericay. The set-up is similar to foodbanks and parents can use Baby Banks for essential equipment required for bringing up young children, including nappies, wipes and shampoo, as well as larger items such as prams and pushchairs.
Referral come from local nurseries, schools, GPs and community centres.
Andy Payne Warpole, Head of Programmes at Essex Community Foundation (ECF), said: “We have seen a big increase in the number of applications we have received from Baby Banks over the past year. They tell us they have been inundated by requests for help, particularly during the pandemic.
“The rise in demand is due to a number of reasons including reduced salaries while parents were, and continue to be furloughed, job losses, cuts to Universal Credit payments and a rise in the number of people fleeing domestic abuse.”
Baby Bank Tendring received £1,200 from ECF and used this vital funding boost to buy items that they cannot accept as second-hand donations because of health and safety concerns. These include cot mattresses, car seats, dummies, bottles and sterilisers.
Georgia Phillips, Director of Baby Bank Tendring, said: “After watching a Channel 4 Dispatches programme about Baby Banks showing the amazing work being done for local communities, I was inspired to offer the same. We began working with local providers to develop a service which offers pre-loved donated baby clothing, toiletries and equipment to those who need it.
“The support we’ve had from local people who have been so helpful, and their donations have been fantastic. We put out a weekly wish–list on Facebook so people know what items we need and it is amazing to see how generous people are.
“It’s sad that people need our help, but we are so pleased that we are in a position to do it”.
Baby Stuff Braintree is also feeling the pinch caused by COVID-19. Susan Pedder, Trustee, said: “The need for clothes is often seen as below that of food, but children benefit from self-esteem, so as well as keeping them warm, a new coat adds so much to their lives. There are so many people needing support right now that we are having to buy clothing, rather than rely solely on donations. The £1,000 awarded to us by ECF has enabled us to make a big difference to many more children”.
To contact Baby Bank Tendring, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baby Stuff Braintree ask that you contact them through their Facebook page.
SUPPORT ECF’S ACORN FUND CHALLENGE and help more local charities like Baby Banks.
ECF is running the ‘Acorn Fund Challenge’, appealing for donations and matching them on a 2 to 1 basis. This means that for every £2 received, ECF will add £1, and if Gift Aid can be claimed, it nearly doubles the value of donations.
Donate online now: https://justgiving.com/campaign/ECFAcorn