Parenting back in the good ol’ daysJuly 29, 2015
What the Baby Bank Network needs – and what it doesn’tAugust 9, 2015
It seems like only yesterday we were writing about the whirlwind first few weeks of the Baby Bank Network journey – the journey from an idea to a tangible organisation and now here we are, just 8 weeks into our journey and the first donation has been handed out to a mum who gave birth to a girl on Friday night.
It marks a significant milestone in the journey so far and elevates the idea, the hopes and plans to something much more important. “It’s nice to do something quite constructive,” said a Health professional with . “Quite a lot of what we do is signposting and talking, but this is something tangible – which is just brilliant.”
We’re currently working to start distributing some of the items we’ve collected (we’ve already outgrown the donated storage unit at Big Yellow Storage
in St Philips and have had to put a halt on donations until we find more storage). However, this referral came in after a friend of the new mum spotted the Baby Bank Network on Facebook.
She told her friend, who was living in temporary accommodation, about the Bristol Baby Bank and her friend then spoke to her health professional, who referred her to us directly. Once this referral had been received, our volunteers headed down to the storage unit and selected three bags full of relevant items and a couple of bigger bits, including a pushchair and a baby bath, for the woman and her new arrival.
The baby arrived on Friday and on Monday, another volunteer dropped the items off with the health professional who will now deliver them to the new mum. The circle of life, if you like.
“We see people who need this,” she said. “This is a young mum with a newborn baby who was living in temporary accommodation – she’s currently in hospital and we’re not sure what’s happening with accommodation when she leaves, but this will make a huge difference.”
She said that there were families in need across the city which could really benefit from the Bristol Baby Bank – saying that until now, health visitors haven’t really had anywhere to turn for this sort of service. She said: “There are homes where there is nothing for the children – no toys, toothbrushes and clothes full of holes or too small; donations like this will make a huge difference there as well.”
She continued: “In pregnancy our community midwives see women who are really worried about not having things and being able to provide for their baby. This will really help ease that pressure and enable new mums to enjoy their baby.”
We’d like to thank everyone who’s supported the Baby Bank Network
so far with donations of money, time and goods and look forward to helping thousands more mums in need. The Bristol Baby Bank’s volunteer referrals co-ordinator is now working with midwives, health visitors and other organisations to oversee the distribution process.
Laura Williams, Press & Publicity Officer for Baby Bank Network,
said: “It’s remarkable just how quickly and smoothly this has gone, from Becky and Eva sharing their idea to receiving the donations, sorting and packing and distributing to a new mum via a very helpful health professional.
“This marks the start of an incredible journey which we hope will help change the lives of so many families across Bristol – easing the financial burden of having a baby and allowing them to enjoy motherhood safe in the knowledge that their baby will have what they need.”
She added: “We can’t thank people enough for the support they’ve already shown but we’ve still got a long way to go – we’re desperate for a bigger storage unit to help us help more women and we’re still on the lookout for more volunteers.”