Mullavilly 'Baby Basics' centre welcomes Royal support for UK-wide charity efforts

Richard Burden

Reporter:

Richard Burden

Email:

richard.burden@ulstergazette.co.uk

BABY Basics - which works across the UK to support families who may be strugging after new arrivals - has been given the Royal seal of approval.

The Duchess of Cambridge has pledged her support for the organisation and it has been warmly welcomed by all involved.

Baby Basics has baby banks across the UK including one at Mullavilly Parish Church.

Almost half of the baby banks surveyed during a recent study have reported an increase in the numbers of families in need of support since mid-March.

Following on from The Duchess of Cambridge’s longstanding work in supporting families, Her Royal Highness this week visited a baby bank in South Yorkshire to help unload a pallet of deliveries and sort donations before speaking with families about their experience of baby banks.

Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. In the UK, they are powered primarily by volunteers and typically run on professional referral from services such as health visitors, midwives and social workers.

Inspired by the work of these charities, The Duchess of Cambridge has brought together nineteen British Brands to donate items to baby banks across the UK.

Three baby banks - Baby Basics UK, Little Village and AberNecessities - are honoured to have been chosen to be part of this amazing initiative.

The Duchess of Cambridge said: “Over recent months, I have heard from families who have been supported by baby banks through the most difficult of times and I have been deeply moved by their stories. Having somewhere to turn to for support is important for all families, and baby banks work every day, up and down the country, to provide immediate, tangible and practical help for parents and carers when they are most in need.

"Baby banks are driven by incredible volunteers, demonstrating the power of community spirit in supporting families and coming together to raise the next generation. Thanks to the generosity of the companies taking part in this initiative, baby banks across the UK will be able to support even more families through this particularly challenging time.”

Following several private visits to Baby Basics West Norfolk, The Duchess spearheaded a drive for donation of items for babies and toddlers from brands and high street retailers.

Cat Ross, CEO of Baby Basics UK, said: "We are thrilled to be part of this amazing initiative from the Duchess of Cambridge. To have the opportunity to highlight the importance of baby banks and the amazing service that Baby Basics Centres across the UK provide. We haves never been more important than at this time when we are in the midst of a national crisis.

"So many more families in the UK will need support of a baby bank, some for the first time, and we are committed to doing all we can to support them in a way that restores dignity and values parents and their children.

"To have the support and donations of so many amazing brands makes our work that little bit easier and means that we can continue to ensure we can provide what is needed for every referral we receive.”

Baby Basics UK has been working since 2009 providing essential baby/toddler equipment to vulnerable women, including but not limited to, families in economic poverty, teenage mums, women seeking asylum, women fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking.

The charity provides clothing, toiletries and other essentials needed for life with a child up to five years. Baby Basics works closely with midwives, health visitors and other agencies to provide a safe, reliable service that people can trust.

Across the network of centres Baby Basics supported over 4000 families in 2019 and expect to have supported over 7000 families in 2020.

Locally, those in need of help can also access it from Apple Blossom Baby Basics, which is situated between Portadown and Tandragee.

If you would like any further information or details, know of someone in need, or requires a referral through one of the statutory agencies or the local church etc, wish to help your local Baby Basics Centre, or you are a company or business wishing to support your local Baby Basics Centre then please do get in touch.

You can email: mullavillybabybasics@gmail.com , phone 078 5688 5737 or follow on the Facebook Page: BabyBasics Mullavilly.

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