Urgent cash donations needed for Baby Basics charity as £60,000 grant finishes

A Northamptonshire charity has issued a plea for cash donations so they can continue to provide emergency starter packs for disadvantaged babies before their three year grant soon ceases.

Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 7:35 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:10 am
Pictured L-R: Volunteers, Julie Baninbridge, Angie Kennedy and Micki Carey-Slater. They also work alongside Sabrina Oakey.

Baby Basics Northampton relies on the generosity of the community to donate items, including basics for mum and newborn essentials, which they pack in Moses baskets and gift to mums in need in Northamptonshire.

The charity - which was first established in Grange Park in 2012 - works with midwives, health visitors and other professionals to make sure the starter packs are referred appropriately.

But as of January 2019 a three year £60,000 grant, from The Diocese of Peterborough, will come to an end and the charity is urgently asking for cash donations to keep up the amount of starter packs it produces each year.

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Moses baskets are made up of essential supplies for babies and new mothers who are in financial difficulty or fleeing from domestic violence.

The grant, which sees £20,000 allocated each year, has also meant the charity can employ four-part time workers.

Volunteer Micki Carey-Slater of Baby Basics said: "This unique provision is the only one in Northamptonshire and yet we have only reached 17 per cent of those in need.

"We want to reach more to make a difference for our county. We have been able to help families stay together and move on to a safer and secure life, but we have a funding gap.

"Over the last financial year each basket cost approximately £147, however, with greater numbers of baskets given and economies of scale, we project that each basket could cost just £120. In 2019 we want to provide 365 baskets, one for each day of the year, which would cost £43,800."

In some cases there is a financial need for a starter pack and the emergency supplies help babies get a better start in life beyond what the mother can afford.

Baby Basics' supplies also help the mum if she is fleeing domestic violence, if she is a refugee, or trying to break the cycle of crime.

The charities popularity is now due, in part, to an increased awareness of the project and healthcare professionals confidence in the workers, volunteers and final product.

Micki added: "However, we have always known that the need has far outweighed what we have been able to meet. In 2017, almost 9,000 babies were born in Northamptonshire.

"With statistics suggesting that more children live in deprived areas than non-deprived areas, we know that there are many more families we could support."

Within five years the charity has made nearly 1,000 baskets - and created 241 this year - but next year Baby Basics has bigger hopes to pack 365 starter packs.

Although the charity cannot meet the mums who receive their baskets the charity is aware, from feedback, of the impact that they make.

"We know, for example, that for some it means that they can stay together as a family, that they have a choice as to whether they stay out of a violent situation.

"One of our professionals described our baskets like a 'Mary Poppins’ bag.

"Another said ‘the women that I provide baskets for are overwhelmed by them and always incredibly grateful for not only the Moses basket but the wonderful things that are tightly packed within it.

“For some families, without Baby Basics providing this service, they simply would have nowhere else to turn to be able to collect the vital things they need for their precious new born baby.”

The charity has started a crowd funding campaign tonight for donations - if you want to help click here.