These mums deserve dignity.
Baby Basics is a charity which began in 2009 in Sheffield as a response to the growing need for practical help for new mothers unable to afford the basic essentials and equipment necessary to look after their newborns.
A midwife in Sheffield set up the group after realising she could no longer meet her client’s needs alone, and asked a member of a church if they knew any families who may be able to pass along clothing from their own families. The clothing bank grew into Baby Basics, a charity which now gives away hundreds of items to women in difficult circumstances and has locations all over the UK.
Referrals are made through health professionals, and a team of volunteers put together a moses basket with emergency provisions for each referral to last the first few weeks including;
- maternity pads
- breast pads
- Sanitary towels
- Hand soap
- Baby soap
- Baby shampoo
- Mum shampoo
- Newborn nappies
- Baby wipes
Maggie Anderson is a volunteer at St Nicholas Church in Dersingham for Baby Basics in West Norfolk. She started in 2017, initially helping to wash clothes. Maggie says;
“It isn’t a baby bank where mums can just request something. Every referral is done through a health professional, it’s a real need. These parents are seen to be desperately in need. We’ve heard stories of women who can’t afford sanitary wear after the birth of their children. These mums deserve dignity and every moses basket is made with love.”
“We’re all volunteers. We have 4 ladies in the community who do all the washing and ironing for us, everything donated needs to be washed. And we’ve got other ladies who make beautiful bags that mums can use for nappies and toiletry bags that they can take to hospital. We want the mums to feel special too.
Maggie says the need for moses baskets has increased, mainly due to the cost of living crisis.
“In 2020, we made 97 moses baskets, in 2021 it was 216 and we’ve already made 243 baskets this year and it’s only October. It would be wonderful to have another Baby Basics in Norfolk, it’s a fantastic church based charity. Our nearest one to Dersingham is Lowestoft, which is a long distance and there are many mums in need. If a church is looking to set one up, I’m very happy to come and help them. There’s also support from Baby Basics in Sheffield.”
Sue is a volunteer at Baby Basics in Dersingham,
“I got involved because we have a tangible reminder in the church. There’s always a baby basics stand and banner there. It’s a drop off point and a weekly reminder for people who come into church how they can help.”
Who to contact:
- Give time
- Give supplies
- Give financially