Helping to give children a brighter start
Last year (2016), Baby Bank Central provided almost 200 baby parcels and over 400 packs of nappies to families in need, across Birmingham and Sandwell.
The families are referred by support workers, health visitors or children’s centres to Baby Bank Central where they receive essential baby supplies, including equipment and clothes to help with the increased financial costs of having a new baby.
Baby Bank Central is a partnership project between Birmingham City Church’s Food bank and Karis Neighbour Scheme (KNS), setup in 2014 due to the high level of need both organisations were seeing amongst pregnant women.
Headed up by KNS’s Children & Families Worker, Ruth Fuller, she said ‘We provide parcels of second hand baby clothes and equipment to families with children under 2 years old. We’re indebted to members of the public who generously pass on their babies clothes to and to funding from the Norton Foundation and Grantham Yorke which enable us to buy new cot mattresses, nappies and toiletries’.
Ruth commented “Many of the families are fleeing domestic violence; including asylum seekers or those with no recourse to public funds. One family that Baby Bank Central has helped were living in their car and all the new-born baby had was the sleep suit it was wearing. “
Photo: An example of a parcel that went to a large refugee family that were all sleeping on old mattresses and washing bottles in soapy water.
Another beneficiary of the project was heavily pregnant single mum Michelle, who was forced to move to Birmingham from her home in Devon with her other three children after fleeing domestic violence, “I had to leave my home quickly with my children. All we took with us was the clothes we were wearing and important paperwork. I had nothing for the new baby, and no family or friends for support.
“I was referred to the Baby Bank by my local children’s centre, and they really took care of me. I have everything I need for my new baby; it is one less thing to worry about. They are fantastic people”, Michelle added.
Photo: Jas, a senior family support worker from Handsworth Children’s Centre; “I am collecting a follow up package for a mother who was helped by the Baby Bank during her pregnancy.
Jas added, “She was trafficked into this country illegally, the Baby Bank provided equipment and clothing and even a hospital pack of toiletries. Now the baby is older they are supporting her with nappies and clothes for the next size up. It’s just that vital bit of support whilst she gets on her feet”.