Baby Basics has had such an incredibly privileged and exciting day today, hosting The Duchess of Cambridge at our UK headquarters in Sheffield! We are honoured to announce The Duchess of Cambridge is supporting baby banks and vulnerable families across the UK by launching a new initiative with us today.
Earlier in 2020, The Duchess of Cambridge helped pack essential bundles for vulnerable children at Baby Basics – West Norfolk.
Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. In the UK, they are powered primarily by volunteers and typically run on professional referral from services such as health visitors, midwives and social workers.
Inspired by the work of these charities, The Duchess of Cambridge has brought together nineteen British Brands to donate items to Baby Banks across the UK.
The Duchess of Cambridge said:
“Over recent months, I have heard from families who have been supported by baby banks through the most difficult of times and I have been deeply moved by their stories. Having somewhere to turn to for support is important for all families, and baby banks work every day, up and down the country, to provide immediate, tangible and practical help for parents and carers when they are most in need. Baby banks are driven by incredible volunteers, demonstrating the power of community spirit in supporting families and coming together to raise the next generation. Thanks to the generosity of the companies taking part in this initiative, baby banks across the UK will be able to support even more families through this particularly challenging time.”
Today’s engagement follows on from The Duchess’ previous visits to Baby Basics West Norfolk, based in Dersingham, where she packed up Moses baskets with supplies and spoke to families who had received support from the charity.
The Duchess of Cambridge helped with the delivery of supplies to Baby Basics UK before talking to families about how baby banks have provided them with invaluable support when they needed it most.
Following several private visits to Baby Basics West Norfolk, The Duchess spearheaded a drive for donation of items for babies and toddlers from brands and high street retailers.
Cat Ross, CEO of Baby Basics UK, said:
“We are thrilled to be part of this amazing initiative from the Duchess of Cambridge. To have the opportunity to highlight the importance of Baby Banks and the amazing service that Baby Basics Centres across the UK provide. We haves never been more important than at this time when we are in the midst of a national crisis. So many more families in the UK will need support of a Baby Bank, some for the first time, and we are committed to doing all we can to support them in a way that restores dignity and values parents and their children. To have the support and donations of so many amazing brands makes our work that little bit easier and means that we can continue to ensure we can provide what is needed for every referral we receive.”
A survey in 2018 estimated that 1 in 100 families in England with children under 5 have visited a baby bank. Baby Basics UK have found a substantial increase in the use of their services during the coronavirus pandemic, seeing an increase in referrals of 110%. Across our network of centres we supported over 4000 families in 2019 and expect to have supported over 7000 families in 2020.
New statistics from Little Village show 9 out of 10 baby banks say that the coronavirus crisis is making it harder to support families in the way they would want and that 77% of baby banks desperately need more nappies, mattresses and other products.
The following organisations have generously donated items such as toiletries, bedding and clothing to Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities (in alphabetical order):
- Bloom and Blossom
- Childs Farm
- Green People (Organic Babies)
- John Lewis
- JoJo Maman Bebe
- Kit and Kin
- Mamas and Papas
- My Little Coco
- The White Company