Introducing our first Chief Executive Officer!
Becky Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer, Baby Bank Network Bristol at Sparks Bristol.
Baby Bank Network Bristol is delighted to announce that we have appointed our first ever CEO, Becky Gilbert.
Becky co-founded the charity in 2015 with Eva Fernandes and Melissa Burgers, when a group of volunteer mums got together to try and relieve poverty in families with young children, by redistributing pre-loved baby and children items to families in need across Bristol and the surrounding area.
With your support we have helped 8000 families in 8 years. By April 2023 we had redistributed over 27,500 items, partnering with over 400 different referral partners to achieve this.
Having survived the Covid-19 pandemic, we are currently in a period of rapid growth. We now have 4 members of staff (Office Manager, Service Manager, Fundraising and Communications Coordinator and now our first CEO), supported by an army of fantastic volunteers.
Baby Bank Network Bristol currently supports around 160 families in Bristol every month, but the referrals coming in outweigh the support we can offer, with 76 received in our busiest week towards the end of 2022. We have reached our capacity in terms of the number of families we can help, and yet this surge in referrals is expected to continue increasing.
One in five children in Bristol live in income deprived families – that is 17,200 children. We are reaching a fraction of these families and we know that we can help more with the right infrastructure in place.
Co-founders Becky and Eva in our new shop in Sparks Bristol.
We have also just launched our first charity shop in Sparks Bristol, Broadmead and have secured funding to begin working in the communities we support to supplement our core referral model.
Becky has been appointed as CEO to help navigate this period of growth and the increase in demand for our services. She is tasked with driving forward the charity’s expansion to ensure that Bristol’s most vulnerable families are supported in their time of need.
“Baby Bank Network Bristol does incredible work supporting families in need. Our aim is to help anyone who needs it, without any judgement, but sadly those numbers are growing. We help families from all walks of life and we take a wide definition of poverty to be inclusive.
I have joined as CEO at a pivotal time for the charity as we continue a growth trajectory. We are currently exploring how we can have a stronger presence in the Bristol community, and last month we launched our first shop at the Sparks development in Broadmead, which is providing much needed additional income.
Baby Bank Network Bristol might be a small grassroots charity, but it has a disproportionately strong team and model. We are in an excellent position to support the families of Bristol in the way that best helps them.” Becky Gilbert, CEO.
Passing on items that are no longer needed to someone else is also grounded in the desire to be sustainable. Baby banks play a significant role in reducing the amount of baby items in use and extending the lifecycle of items that might otherwise go to landfill.
Between April 2022 and May 2023, Baby Bank Network Bristol helped 1,586 families by redistributing 5,477 items.
Our 2022-23 Impact Report is available on our website.