01:29PM, Saturday 18 July 2020
Photo credit: Abi Moore
Thousands of essential items such as nappies, books, beds, cots and prams have been distributed to families in need during lockdown by The Baby Bank charity.
The charity, which was founded in 2015 by Windsor mums Rebecca Mistry and Royal Borough councillor Amy Tisi, supports disadvantaged families in Berkshire.
The charity said it has had its busiest ever period through COVID-19 and doesn’t expect things to quieten down anytime soon.
Between April to July it supported more than 1,200 people and said the numbers are now ‘getting quite high again’ as parents think ahead to children going back to the school in September.
Rebecca said: “Children may have grown out of their uniform and are going back to school in September. We’ve had a lot of requests for school uniform. We managed to get emergency funding from places, including the Louis Baylis Trust, which will be put towards educational packs.
“Initially we really struggled with donations as we couldn’t take anything and you were only supposed to go out for essentials and we felt we had enough for certain things like nappies, wipes, beds and cots. But children are still sleeping on floors and babies are still being born, we were having to rely on people donating money so we could buy them via Amazon and get them sent out.”
The charity has distributed 415 beds, cots and baskets, 700 packs of nappies, 600 toiletry packs for newborns, children or parents and 400 book packs in the last three months.
Rebecca said the charity also struggled at the beginning of lockdown with volunteers due to COVID-19 restrictions on movement.
She said: “We didn’t want to put people at risk but we’ve gradually been able to have more people into our storage base.
“It’s been quite an interesting couple of months but I’m glad we could do that and keep going and get things the people needed.
“Hopefully we will have helped their mental health if they’ve not had to worry about buying nappies and formula.”
More than 50 per cent of the people it has helped have been in Slough, 22 per cent in Maidenhead and 12 per cent in Windsor.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about us not being here. The prospect of a child not having somewhere to sleep is where we’ve been able to help,” added Rebecca.
Visit www.amazon.co.uk/baby-reg/30P7V9RN3SUQ to support the charity. Paypal donations are welcome via Info@TheBabybank.org
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