PLEASE READ BEFORE DECIDING WHETHER TO DONATE OR NOT- a significant update!
We have had an incredible response to the appeal and genuinely can't thank you all enough!!! Amazingly, we've also just been approved for a grant!!!!!! Between the grant and this Crowdfunder, we can pay our bills and rent, wait for it - FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS.... assuming the bills don't increase anymore!
What a difference a day makes!!!!!!! Thank you!!!
Where do we go from here?
When I set up the appeal, I said 'yes', to potenitally 'stretching' the appeal on here to £4,000, because that was what we ideally needed for our bills and rent for 12 months. This stretched appeal is automatically activated by Crowdfunder once the initial target is reached. Now we have achieved this (between a combination of the grant and this appeal), we need to look at the other essentials we need to keep the baby bank operating safely and progressing.
These additional essentials range from; paying for our incorporation status application to purchasing a dehumidifer to prevent our clothes stock from becoming damp and DBS checks for volunteers!
If you are still able to share our appeal and support us, we and the community we will be able to go from a position of collapse to full steam ahead!!!!
We're extremely grateful for everything and anything you can offer that supports our local community.
Rachel and the Small Stuff Baby Bank Team
Original Appeal Information
In 2019, in response to hearing about the hidden poverty in our area, I set up Small Stuff Baby Bank. Since this time, we have helped 100's of families on thousands of occasions, by providing them with pre-loved, free clothes, toys, books and equipment.
Myself (Rachel) and Paula, volunteer 7 days per week (between us) to running the baby bank. Other volunteers help remotely by sorting clothes, storing out of season items and cleaning buggies, in their homes. The community is very invested in the baby bank and passionate about supporting local families. We have been told that the baby bank is a treasured part of the local community. Please don't take my word for it and read the testimonies, below.
As manager, a large part of my role is to continually apply for grants. Since our launch we have been very fortunate in securing grants to pay for core costs and projects to further benefit the community. However, increased competition since the pandemic and cost of living crisis, means we have been unsuccessful in our recent applications. We therefore face imminent closure, which of course means the community losing our support- when they need it most!
"I am a mother who quiet regularly uses the baby bank and my most recent support from them was a complete kit out ready for the arrival of my baby who’s is due any day. Having the support has ment so much and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without these guys. Never once made to feel worthless or uncomfortable and always met with a friendly smile and chat whenever I visit them. I know myself lots of people of use the baby bank and have also recommended them to a few people.
Lots of people play a part in the baby bank from people donating to sorting (which I’d love to help with once my baby is born) but more importantly it improves of life of so many adults and children across the local community. Once again I wholeheartedly thank you all for your support". [sic]
"The baby bank has been great and has helped me out with clothes, toys, bedding etc.. The baby bank is really helpful especially now with the rising costs of everything.. I managed to get school uniform for my girls and then I was able to pay my bills and not have to worry about how I'm going to sort the kids school uniforms. I have donated bags and bags of stuff back to the baby bank once we no longer need the clothes or toys".
“I used to help the baby bank with my daughter and baby grandson. We find it helps our mental health to come in and help people. We like sorting the clothes out and helping families”
"I have 2 kids one has additional needs and extra care , the baby bank have helped me with clothes and large nappies for my son, im a single mum and strugle money wise so this has helped so much without there help we would of struggled and possibly gone without meals .there so kind friendly always welcoming very inviting ,its lovely to come in for a chat to , ive also helped alittle to with arrangeing clothes etc , the church building is lovely too, without there help id be very stuck mentally and fiananciy ,realy cannot thank them enough"[sic]
Last But by No Means Least
The baby bank continually encourages and facilitates the reuse of children's items. This in turn prevents thousands of items from going to landfill and provides a facility for donators to use to reduce the carbon footprint of their donated items.
With your help, we can cover our core costs (£2,000) for the next 6 months. This would buy us enough time to achieve charitable status (an application process already started but currently paused) and secure a larger grant(s) to secure our future, ideally for the next 3 years.
In achieving longer term funding, the first thing we need to do is find more space to enable us to open our doors, to bring volunteers and families into the baby bank; a warm, welcoming and inclusive environment where volunteers help families to find items which the families choose. This operational model was preferred by 70% of our members, in a recent survey we carried out. However, we recognise needs are not generic and therefore aim to continue providing packs for families to collect, where the family prefers to do so.
Other benefits of this model include, saving volunteers hours of time each day, in putting packs together and reducing the risk of wasting items that are not worn because they're not liked. More volunteers would be able to help in the baby bank, thereby allowing us to reach more families and reuse more items.
Thank you so much for reading our appeal.
Every £1 donated will be really appreciated and help to secure our future. We'd also really appreciate it if you could share this appeal, far and wide!
Rachel and the Small Stuff Baby Bank Team