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South Yorkshire baby charity says parents going to desperate lengths to feed their children by Rosanna Robins on Hallam FM news

Author: Rosanna Robins (Read Aritcle on Hallam FM by clicking here or read below)

It comes as we’re being warned the rising cost of formula is pushing some parents to try and steal it

A South Yorkshire baby charity has told us it’s thinking about providing formula milk due to a growing number of parents struggling to afford it.

It comes after we told you this morning about warnings of a health emergency – with charities reporting that some parents are being driven to steal it because of the soaring cost.

Baby Basics was founded in Sheffield and now has 55 branches around the UK.

It previously hasn’t given out formula, partly due to issues around needing to work with health professionals who want to encourage breastfeeding.

‘We hear stories of mums watering down formula and reusing nappies’

But CEO Cat Ross says families are becoming desperate:

“The need is growing. We’ve seen in our supermarkets it’s moving behind the checkout because formula milk is becoming one of the most shoplifted items.

“But also we hear stories of mums watering down formula in the same way we hear stories of mums reusing nappies because they can’t afford to buy another pack of nappies.

“At the end of the day a mum wants to be able to feed her child, and parents will go to whatever lengths they have to be able to do that.

“We don’t right now provide formula milk, but we’re also determined that actually we need to overcome those challenges to be able to support families with this need.

“We’re continuing to see a massive increase in demand. That’s everything from clothing, toiletries, nappies, toys and beds.

“And we’re also seeing a drop in donations. Everybody is struggling with the cost of living, so somebody who previously may have decided to donate their cot to us can’t afford to do that anymore because they need to sell it to pay their electric bill.”

Cat is also reminding families who are struggling to check if they are eligible for the Healthy Start vouchers, which is an NHS scheme aimed at helping people who are pregnant or who have young children.

“There may be people thinking they can’t apply for the Healthy Start voucher either because of their immigration status right now or because they’ve got immigration status but it says on their judgement ‘no access to public funds’,” says Cat.

“If you have at least one child under four years old that is a British citizen that was born in the UK, you can still access Healthy Start vouchers. And it’s worth going online and getting that application in because you can use those vouchers to help buy milk.”

Our CEO, Cat, also spoke about the rising cost of formula milk on Hallam FM today. Did you miss it? You can catch up here and listen from 55:45

Baby Basics UK Ukraine Support

We need your help! We have reopened our support to Ukraine families resettling in the UK for items like, prams, beds, toys, car seats, highchairs & moses basket starter packs!
We have received over 300 referrals in 24 hrs. Would you be able to help? Support via our Amazon wish list

Baby Basics National Conference 2023

We were so excited to have our first ever Baby Basics National Conference! We welcomed our centres from all across the UK to our national conference held at St Mary’s Marylebone to celebrate our collective achievements and to spend time envisaging what is next for Baby Basics UK.

Our CEO, Cat Ross, thanked all the centres for their ongoing commitment, especially over the last 3 years as we faced the Covid-19 pandemic and welcomed families resettling from Afghanistan and Ukraine. She also shared what has been happening nationally.

Our wonderful patron, Rev Kate Bottley, thanked our Baby Basics Centres and shared her heart for Baby Basics and what we do as a charity.

The amazing Sarah McMullen, Associate Director of Research and Policy, from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood shared the work of the foundation and the Shaping Us campaign and how we are part of creating change.

We were blessed with some brilliant break our sessions. Cat Ross and Louise Ellis hosted a group chat, Jenny Pegg and Rev Kate Bottley facilitated a time of prayer and Marlene Gorman, Breath Work Specialist, led a relaxation session. Thank you so much to the wonderful leaders from these amazing sessions.

Our centres were able to discuss what’s on their heart for Baby Basics and fed this back to the larger group.

We also celebrated 10 years of the incredible Baby Basics Northampton.

It was a wonderful day and we are so thankful for all those that came.

Shaping Us campaign from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood

Baby Basics is proud to support the #ShapingUs campaign from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, spearheaded by HRH The Princess of Wales. We are thankful for them continuing to highlight the importance of the early years in shaping healthy, happy adults and calling for recognition of “The life-changing impact we can have when we create a supportive & nurturing world around children, and those who care for them”. Many of the families referred to Baby Basics find themselves, for many different reasons, needing extra support, whether physically, financially, or emotionally. We appreciate that what we do is a small but essential part of the holistic approach that is crucial if we want to see real change. If you want to help change the experience of a child by supporting your local Baby Basics centre, please find more information here 

Watch Here

What an honour!

Our CEO, Cat Ross, has been invited by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to be part of a team of 8 taking part in the Bloomberg/Harvard City Leadership Initiative – focusing on health inequalities in the early years.

This includes an intensive week of teaching, researching & planning in NYC (All cost covered by Bloomberg Philanthropies). We are excited to be working with other key leaders in South Yorkshire from NHS, LA’s & Sheffield Hallam University.

Cat’s hope is that not only will we see plans to improve lives for 0-5yr olds in South Yorkshire but the implementation can be replicated across other areas of the UK.

2022 Statistics

As 2022 comes to a close we want to say a massive thank you to every person who has volunteered, donated, funded and cheered us on this year. Baby Basics wishes everyone a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Baby Basics has supported 43662 children and their families this year.

Last Homes for Ukraine Referral… for now!

Yesterday was emotional as we packed up the last (for now 🤞) referral for #homesforukraine families & shipped them out. We are proud to have supported 2980 Ukrainian children, their families & their hosts since April.
We hope to be able to support more Ukrainian families resettling in the UK next year from our warehouse. Huge thank you to all our volunteers, our funders, our corporate supporters & everyone who has donated through our wish lists.