Did you know that there are more than 150 baby banks across the UK? Not many people in the UK are aware of the concepts of baby banks. To be fair, they are recent, having come in the United Kingdom in the last ten years or so. A baby bank has a very similar concept to a food bank except they provide for babies. We are taking an in-depth look about baby banks and how you can get involved and help. Through our charity partner, Anika Food Charity, at Doctor A Cosmetics, we aim to highlight the importance of baby banks, why they are very much needed and how through Doctor A Cosmetics we are aiming to help.
What is a baby bank?
Imagine being a parent for the first time and not having the means to provide for your new-born child? Not being able to afford basic things such as clothing for your child. Imagine not being able to afford essential items for your child like baby bottles, a pram, a cot, or baby milk? Imagine having more than one child or having twins or triplets? Imagine how hard that must be.
Baby banks are not just for first time parents but cater for all young children. They provide parents with very much needed items such as baby clothing, baby baths, cots, baby toys, baby prams, nappies, baby milk, baby books, baby equipment and more. These items are passed on to families who are in need of support.
A baby bank receives these items through donations. The items are usually pre-owned but are in excellent condition and sometimes fairly new. These items are passed on with a lot of love and care from one family to another.
Baby banks also do classes such as mother and toddler classes, group reading classes, group support if their premises allow it.
Why are baby banks needed?
There are more than 150 baby banks in the UK. There are 3.15 million families in England with children under 5 years of age and around 35,000 families have been helped by baby banks so far in a year. In 2020, a survey was carried out by a bank, Little Village.
Their survey found that:
- 83% of baby banks say families are worried about being able to afford/find essentials such as nappies and baby milk.
- 8 in 10 baby banks worry that children living in poverty will go hungry.
- 9 in 10 baby banks are saying that the coronavirus crisis is making it hard to support families in the way that they would want.
- 77% of baby banks say that they need more nappies, mattresses and other products that cannot be given out second hand.
From the Guardian newspaper it was found that, individuals with a disability, women, children, and black and ethnic minority groups have been hit the hardest by a combination of changes to benefits and working tax credits, private rental costs, inflation and low pay. In London, 37% of children live in poverty.
Many families and parents can struggle to afford baby items for their young children as they can be so expensive. With the coronavirus pandemic, things have become a lot worse as many small, local businesses have had to shut down and many people have been furloughed from their jobs.
What you can do to get involved
Baby banks need a lot of support. You can help out in many ways:
- Running a baby bank can be very expensive especially if they have a large premise. Most premises are rented out and there is also the cost of permanent staff. You can help out by contributing to their fundraising cause if they have any or if not, you can run a fundraiser for them!
- If you are unable to make a financial donation then please donate your time or skills. Baby banks are always looking for volunteers to help them. If you have a special set of skills, you can always hold a free of charge class with the baby bank and create a fun activity for the children.
- If you have any baby items that are in good condition and that you no longer need such as baby toys or baby books, please donate them to your local baby bank (you can find your nearest baby bank online). Your items will make a child very happy.
In need of a baby bank
At Doctor A Cosmetics, we work with our charity partner, Anika Food Charity, that also has its own baby bank, Anika Baby Bank as part of their charity. Anika Baby Bank provides baby essentials such as baby toiletries e.g. baby shampoos, baby shower gels, baby bubble baths, baby clothes, nappies, baby milk powder to families who need it.
Are you in need of a baby bank?