Baby bank reaches out to parents as Covid-19 puts more pressure on families
- Credit: ABI'S FOOTPRINTS BABY BANK
A baby bank wants to ensure no parent is “falling through the cracks” as more families are in need due to the impact of coronavirus.
Abi’s Footprints Baby Bank, a charity run by New Life Church in Great Cornard, near Sudbury, provides mums and dads with essentials for their baby or growing child, such as nappies, a cot or clothing.
Gill Soper, one of the volunteers, said they want to reach as many people as possible, adding there “definitely is a bigger need”.
MORE: Baby bank helping struggling new parents in the Sudbury areaShe said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on every one of us. The families supported by Abi’s Footprints Baby Bank are no exception.
“Some also find themselves in particularly difficult circumstances such as moving to emergency, temporary or new accommodation or dealing with relationship breakdown, job loss or separation from supportive parents and friends.
“We have seen families who were coping well pre-Covid, but who are now increasingly struggling to buy consumables such as nappies for their babies. A growth spurt may mean that almost overnight none of their child’s clothes fit any more, or they need other equipment such as a cot to replace a Moses basket, or a high chair for their growing child.”
MORE: Money worries leave more parents turning to ‘baby bank’ for foodShe added: “We have always been just trying to get the word out [about the baby bank] and make sure there’s nobody falling through the cracks really.”
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Mrs Soper said the pandemic can cause particular distress in expectant mums who, when experiencing real financial hardship, may find themselves unable to prepare the practical essentials that their new baby will need.
She said the Abi’s Footprints can ease parents’ anxiety by providing virtually anything the baby will need, so they can then look forward to the new arrival, knowing that everything is ready and in place, and also helps them to focus more fully on the needs of their older children.
MORE: Stress and depression doubles in Suffolk due to Covid-19Some families are also struggling to put food on the family table, she said, adding they are very grateful to Storehouse, the local food bank, with whom they liaise closely.
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Mrs Soper said: “We urge people in situations like those described above to let us know what they need. Abi’s Footprints provides good pre-loved (occasionally new) clothes for children aged 0 to three years, together with an extensive list of larger items such as buggies, toys, cots and bedding, and smaller items such as bottles, nappies and baby toiletries. We now also have a growing stock of local primary school clothing.”
Strict Covid-safety measures are in place for receiving and distributing items to minimise risks, including quarantining all donations and delivering safely to doorsteps.
In addition to Sudbury and Great Cornard, the charity serves families in a number of neighbouring villages.