A Sheffield baby charity offering a lifeline to hundreds of vulnerable families each year has appealed for help to keep providing that vital support.
Baby Basics gives essential items like nappies, cots, clothing and pushchairs to parents with newborn babies who could not otherwise afford the equipment.
It was founded 10 years ago in Sheffield by Hannah Peck and demand is continuing to grow, with more than 1,000 care packages handed out within the city last year.
The charity, which receives referrals from midwives, health visitors and social workers, proved so popular in Sheffield it has since expanded nationwide and now runs 30 centres across the country.
But its Sheffield storage room, at the King’s Centre church in Nether Edge, is in urgent need of a revamp to help keep donated items secure and in prime condition.
It has launched an online appeal to raise the £500 required to improve the facilities.
The charity’s new chief executive Cat Ross said: “We are so grateful for this amazing space but it needs some TLC to keep the fabulous donations in tip-top condition ready to go out to babies and families who need them.
“The families we work with include women fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking. They’re in desperate situations and we’re able to give them the basic items they need to look after their children, including a safe space in which their babies can sleep.
“Providing them with a pushchair can also make a huge difference, enabling them to get to English classes if they’re new to the country or to attend baby groups they might otherwise miss out on.
“Women have told how it’s given them back the dignity they felt they had lost, by showing them they’re worth something and that someone cares about them.
“Unfortunately demand is growing year on year, both in Sheffield and across the country, and we need to ensure we continue to be there for all those families who need our help.”
As well as donors, Baby Basics relies on the generosity of its many volunteers, from children lovingly decorating gift boxes to older people knitting baby clothes and blankets.
A midwife working with vulnerable women in Sheffield has described the charity as a ‘crucial’ service and said how there is nothing like it to fill the gap locally.
And one woman who was staying in a refuge having fled her violent partner when Baby Basics came to her aid said: “Today Baby Basics have given me a choice. Before, in order to be able to give my baby the things it needed I had to go back to a violent man. But with this pack I have the freedom to stay in a safe place and still provide for my baby.”
For more information about Baby Basics, see baby-basics.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate to the storage room appeal, visit the MyDonate page.