When we set up Baby Bank Network just over 4 months ago, it was fuelled by the donation of time and effort from an ever-growing team of volunteers. This formula has allowed us to get established – to find storage space (thanks Big Yellow Storage!), collect donations, spread the word, secure referrals and, most importantly, get packs full of pre-loved baby essentials out to families in need. Over 30 families in need in the first few months alone.
We’ve got a small pot of money raised by Cake and Donate events, sponsored runs and sponsorship from companies such as Lansinoh. We need money to cover things like new mattresses for cots, toiletries and now, as we’ve quickly outgrown the donated storage unit and failed to find a larger donated space, to cover the costs of more substantial storage for all the wonderful items donated by generous parents across Bristol.
We’re thrilled to be taking part in Local Giving’s Grow Your Tenner campaign, whereby they will fund match donations pound for pound up to the value of £10 until their £250,000 pot has run out (there are lots of charities drawing from this pot – not just us!) The response in the first week has been brilliant – with almost £2,000 raised – but there’s still hundreds of pounds left for us to access providing people donate before the money runs out.
We launched a #TeddyTenner campaign to help get some momentum – encouraging people to donate and share photos of their favourite child’s toy with a tenner, nominating others to do the same. It’s been great seeing all the different photos and some people have even got their cats and dogs involved! Thanks to everyone who’s done this already, there’s still time if you haven’t. See Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more details.
Your support is crucial in helping us to help more families. Our volunteers will carry on working hard to collect and sort donations, spread the word, secure more referrers and get more packs together and distributed to families in need but in order to help make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of Bristol families we need space to grow – we need a bigger premises to hold more donations and be able to host more volunteers sorting and distributing the items.
After a 2-3 month search we’ve finally found somewhere which is both a) suitable and b) affordable but only affordable if we can raise the necessary funds. The donations from the Grow Your Tenner campaign we’ve received already should cover the rental cost for the next 6 months – allowing us to help lots more families with items such as pushchairs, cots, clothes, toys, feeding items, reusable nappies etc. but we’d love to secure even more to help future-proof our operation.
Another 30 donations would not only complete the campaign – with us having accessed the maximum amount of fund-matching available to us – but would also cover our rent until our first anniversary in June 2016, by which time we hope to have helped well over 100 Bristol families with all the items they need for their new baby/babies, but couldn’t afford.