Growing Baby Bank Network

by Laura Williams in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 29th June 2017 we successfully raised £6,422 with 69 supporters in 28 days

Baby Bank Network currently helps one family a day with baby essentials they otherwise could not afford - we want to double this.

by Laura Williams in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We are delighted to have reached our £6,000 target within a week of launching our debut crowdfunding campaign but with lots of rewards still up for grabs we wanted to extend the target to give us the extra funds to help us launch more branches in more cities and towns in the U.K.


About Baby Bank Network

Since its inception in 2015, the Bristol-based Baby Bank Network has helped almost 700 families with baby essentials they otherwise could not afford; this includes victims of domestic violence, refugees, homeless families and those 1/4 children currently living in poverty. 100% volunteer-run,  we are currently helping the equivalent of one family day in Bristol with items such as cots, prams, nappies, clothes and toys.

Alleiviating poverty and promoting re-use

The idea came about following the 2015 General Election, when austerity cuts were hitting Bristol families hard. Local mum Becky Gilbert was looking for somewhere to donate her baby stuff to families in need and business owner Eva Fernandes met families in need but did not know how to help them; the duo decided to do something about it and Baby Bank Network was born. Two years and thousands of volunteer hours later and Baby Bank Network has become an important charity tackling poverty and promoting reuse. And as another election approaches, the need is greater than ever.

What our referral partners say:

"Our community midwives see women who are really worried about not being able to provide for their baby. This will really help ease the pressure and enable new mums to enjoy their babies. It's nice to do something constructive. Quite a lot of what we do is signposting and talking but this is something tangible, which is just brilliant." - Baby Bank Network referral partner

"Can I just express my sincere thanks and admiration for the service provided by Baby Bank Network. The referral process was simple and my joy at having witnessed 'mum's' joy, immeasurable. Keep up the good work!" - Baby Bank Network referral partner

What the mums we help say:

"I had some stuff given to me today via midwife from yourselves and I am so happy with just how generous you are! Personally saying thank you and that your help is so appreciated." - Baby Bank Network recipient

"We're a low income family and when we found out we were expecting twins, we just couldn't afford to buy two of everything - even second-hand. Baby Bank Network has been brilliant, they've given us everything we need and I'll be giving it back when we're finished with it." - Baby Bank Network recipient

Why are we Crowdfunding?

 The generosity of local families, donating good quality pre-loved baby items they no longer need, has been overwhelming; but we are limited by space and the time that volunteers (mostly mums themselves) can donate which means there's a cap on the number of people we can help.

Meeting demand

Our  waiting list is growing and we want to ensure that no family goes without,  but we desperately need funds to help us meet this demand.  We work with a network of almost 300 referral partners across the city but know we could easily double this number as the demand is there; we have the means and the know how to reach those babies in need - but we need more financial support so we can be sure we don't have to turn anyone away.

Beyond Bristol

We recently launched our first partner organisation, Bairnecessities Baby Bank in Aberdeenshire, and are in talks with other mums across the country about launching baby banks in their area. The need is not confined to Bristol and while there are independent organisations in some other cities and towns, for most families struggling there is nowhere to turn.

With your help, we can help twice as many families in Bristol and expand our operation further.

Where your money will go...

Thanks to our brilliant volunteers, we can keep overheads relatively low but there are some unavoidable costs associated with delivering this service and without investment in the development of the charity, we will be limited in what we can achieve. We want to help more families, by taking on more referral partner and helping launch branches in other places and are ready to invest in the future of Baby Bank Network.

Buying mattresses and bottle teats

* While we've been fortunate to secure donations of items such as cots, and feeding equipment, there are certain items, such as mattresses and bottle teats that we cannot give out second hand and the more requests for help we get, the more money we need to raise to cover these costs

Investing in people

* Our volunteers have put in tens of thousands of hours to build Baby Bank Network, but all are juggling motherhood and paid work alongside this. As we grow and help more families, it's simply not sustainable to rely solely on volunteers and we'd like to recruit a part time project manager to ensure we can deliver our service indefinitely

Covering our costs

* There are inevitable set up costs that go with lauching a baby bank - legal and infrastructure costs such as web hosting etc - and we want to be in a position to be able to support other volunteers to set up partner organisations across the UK, drawing upon our knowledge and experience and access to funds could help fast track these

The Rewards

From top left: Ian Walker bee canvas, cover of Guide to Bristol, knitted bees, Carys Tait's 'Spring Trumpet' and 'A Friendly Lift', Laura Garner's bee print, Martin Turner's 'Busy', Rob Wheeler's bee print and Claire Barnard's BBN design.

We've teamed up with a range of supporters to create a selection of rewards (see some of these in photo above and full info in boxes on right) in return for your donation alongside some virtual rewards - the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you're helping to fund. If we can hit half of our target this June, Better Bristol can match fund the rest - meaning your donation is worth twice as much to us. There's never been a better time to donate to help #babiesineed

Thank you for your support!
Team Baby Bank Network

xx

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£4 or more

£4 Reward

BUY SOME BOTTLE TEATS: Most of the items we distribute are donated to us by families, however there are some items that we must buy new, this includes bottle teats. A donation of £4 today will cover the cost of one packet of bottle teats for a family in need.

£8 or more

£8 Reward

BABY BANK NETWORK'S GUIDE TO BRISTOL: Working in partnership with local writer and blogger, The Bristol Parent, we've created an insider's guide to Bristol full of information on the best free days out and online resources as well as hundreds of pounds worth of exclusive vouchers from local baby and child related businesses. Your book will be sent to you as an eBook in July, just in time for the summer holidays!

£10 or more

£10 Reward

BUY A MOSES BASKET MATTRESS: Most of the items we distribute are donated to us by families, however there are some items that we must buy new, this includes mattresses. We are lucky enough to be able to buy these at cost, so a donation of £10 today will cover the cost of one moses basket mattress for a family in need.

£12 or more

1 of 50 claimed

£12 Reward

FAMILY FUN DAY TICKETS: Donate today to secure your family ticket to our birthday party at Horfield Parish Church Hall just off Gloucester Road, Bristol (BS7 8SP), from 10am-2pm on Sat 1 July 2017. There will be children's activities inside and out, entertainment, refreshments, table-top sale and raffle. Help us celebrate our birthday and enjoy a fun-filled family day while helping us to help families in need at the same time!

£16 or more

4 of 18 claimed

£16 Reward

HANDMADE KNITTED BEE: Our supporters have been busy knitting these adorable little bees (see pic in project description), perfect for children and adults alike. You'll be able to collect your bee from our Family Fun Day in BS7 on Sat 1st July 2017 or from our Fishponds unit at a convenient time. If you'd like it posted to you, please add another £4 to your donation. Thank you.

£20 or more

8 of 18 claimed

£20 Reward

EXCLUSIVE BLACK & WHITE BEE PRINT: Local artist and card maker Claire Barnard has come up with a brilliant bee-themed black & white design just for us which the kind folk at Mockingbird Press have printed up. Your A5 print will be available to collect at our birthday party in Bristol on Sat 1st July or from our Fishponds unit. If you'd like yours posted, please add another £4 to your donation. See image of artwork in project overview

£24 or more

4 of 18 claimed

£24 Reward

EXCLUSIVE GRAFFITI BEE PRINT: Inspired by our bee logo, local artist Rob Wheeler has teamed up with photographer Pete Hall and Niche Frames to donate a limited edition run of his graffiti bee prints. You can collect your print from our family fun day in Bristol on Sat 1st July or from our Fishponds unit. If you'd like it posted to you, please add another £4 to your donation. You can see the print at the bottom of our project description.

£28 or more

3 of 8 claimed

£28 Reward

LIMITED EDITION CARYS TAIT PRINT: Local artist Carys volunteered her services to create our brilliant branding and she continues to support us, donating 2 prints - 'Spring Trumpet' and 'A Friendly Lift'. There are only 4 of each available and they'll be given on a first come first served basis. Once you'd made your pledge pls let us know your preference (see prints in project description) & email: laura@babybanknetwork.com

£30 or more

£30 Reward

BUY A COT MATTRESS: Most of the items we distribute are donated to us by families, however there are some items that we must buy new, this includes mattresses. We are lucky enough to be able to buy these at cost, so a donation of £30 today will cover the cost of one cot/cotbed basket mattress for a family in need.

£32 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£32 Reward

ONE OF A KIND BEE PRINT: Artist Laura Garner responded to our callout for artwork but creating a brand new print for us, this beautiful bee flying towards a flower. The A5 original signed print is available to collect from our Birthday Party in Bristol on Sat 1st July or from our Fishponds unit. If you'd like us to post it to you instead, please add £4 to your donation. Thanks. You can see the print at the bottom of our project description.

£1,500 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£1,500 Reward

BABY BANK NETWORK OFFICIAL SPONSORSHIP PACKAGE: We're offering one business the opportunity to be our official sponsor for our 3rd year (June 2017- June 2018). Your logo will feature prominently on our website, in press releases with regular mentions in our newsletters and on our social media channels and we will work with you on a comms plan to help share the story of how you have helped Baby Bank Network to alleviate child poverty in Bristol.

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