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Baby Bank at Big Yellow Self Storage Company, Barrow Road, Avonmead, which collects unwanted kids clothes to distribute to needy families, has been inundated with donations in its first two weeks. It now needs to find bigger premises. Pegah Esmaidi, Melissa Burgers, Becky Gilbert, Esa Fernandes, Suzy Harris 29/07/15 Photographer: Jon Kent Reporter: Copyright: Bristol News and Media

By Annika Howard.

It could be lurking in your loft, shoved to the back of a cupboard or cluttering up your garage.  It’s baby stuff that’s been outgrown.  Anyone who has had children will know that you accumulate a lot of stuff.

The thing about babies is they grow, they grow really quickly, and in the space of three months their whole wardrobe can be straining at the seams.  Once your baby has outgrown its clothes they’re not much use to you.  But, they could have a second lease of life as part of a Baby Bank Network clothing bundle.

Baby Bank Network relies on donations of good quality items, including clothes.  The clothing bundles are packed according to age.  A newborn clothing bundle contains all the essentials including: bibs, baby grows, muslins, vests and socks.  The bundles are tailored to the season so in summer a bundle will include a sun hat and a shorts whereas a winter bundle will have a winter coat, pram suit and cardigan.

The clothing bundles are packed by our amazing volunteers.  On a single night in October the team made up 15 clothing bundles – that’s 15 families who’ve been helped.  It’s not a case of shoving the clothes into a big black bag, the bundles are thoughtfully packed and all the clothes are all quality checked to make sure that all the items included are clean and appropriate, and each bundle contains a mix of styles, colours, fabrics and brands.

I was interested to find out how much these bundles could potentially be saving the families who receive them.  So, one evening I sat down with the packing list and did some research.  Using eBay I took an average of six month’s worth of sold prices for all the items on the list.  It’s not an exact science because some of the things that were selling on there were designer baby clothes going for more than I’d pay for my clothes (which last me a lot longer than three months!).  But the figures were pretty eye opening.  A newborn summer bundle has a value of around £80 and a winter bundle is closer to £100.  That’s potentially a huge saving for a family trying to juggle competing demands for cash and deal with a small baby.

Thinking about that single night in October, if they were all newborn bundles, that’s close to £1,500 that Baby Bank Network saved families in the Bristol area who simply couldn’t have afforded to buy the clothes they needed for their baby.

If you have a stash of baby clothes that have outlived their useful life for you – then why not think about donating them to Baby Bank Network.  They could make all the difference to someone else as part of a Baby Bank Network clothing bundle.

We’re planning on holding a donation event in November – to find out more visit our donations page.