Baby Basics was set up in 2009 as a response to the growing need for practical help for new mothers unable to afford the basic essentials and equipment necessary to look after their newborns.
Sheffield’s Lead Midwife for displaced people groups worked daily with clients who were struggling to get the things they needed. She was regularly shocked by stories of women humiliated in hospital because they couldn’t afford sanitary wear for after the birth of their babies; children without shoes; and women forced into situations of sexual exploitation. Knowing that she could no longer continue to meet her client’s needs alone she approached Rachel Atkinson, leader of the Under-5’s work at Kings Centre Church in Sheffield to ask if she knew of any families who may be able to pass along clothing that their own children had outgrown. Sharing stories of the poverty that many women and families are living under in Sheffield, the church was moved to action. A group of mums felt the injustice was too much to simply look away from in their own city and got together to do whatever they could to make some sort of difference.
From those initial conversations grew a clothing bank and a place for midwives and health visitors to request baby equipment and essential toiletries for their clients. The work has grown steadily and now Baby Basics give away hundreds of items each year to women in many different and difficult circumstances. Every item given away through Baby Basics is donated by someone in the local community and sorted by our team of volunteers. We aim to value each and every mother and child by packaging every gift with a high level of care and love. If you have items you may be able to donate to the work please visit the Giving Supplies page.
Baby Basics is now a well-known and well used service across Sheffield for midwives and health visitors to request baby equipment and essential toiletries for their clients. We are so proud and excited about the simplicity and effectiveness of the idea that we are encouraging other groups to start Baby Basics projects in other towns and cities around the UK. There is a growing network of churches and community groups around the country running a Baby Basics project for their local communities, please see our ‘other locations’ page for more information on what is happening locally to you.
If you are interested in starting a Baby Basics project where you live, please visit the Start Your Own Baby Basics page.