Dennis and Celia Andrewarthur volunteer at the Lower Cam branch of Baby Basics, and were delighted with the news.
Dennis said, “We have given our around half a dozen baskets in the past eighteen months since the church set up St Bart’s Baby Basics. Of course we don’t know the names of the people benefiting, but we did have a message from one lady. She said that she had recently arrived in the country and had not had time to get set up for the new baby – this had rescued them. She said that she would be coming along to meet us….but that has had to be postponed because of the Covid outbreak.
“We like to think that this is a unique offering at an important time in life – it feels like the baskets are genuinely getting to the places they are needed. We hope it makes a difference.”
Each mum that is referred to the scheme by their doctor, midwife or social worker, gets a Moses basket, with nappies, six sets of clothes, a towel and blankets for baby, shampoo and soap and some post-natal supplies for the new mother. Every package has a message inside, to share where the parcel is from. The congregation at Lower Cam regularly donates towards the baskets, as well as their normal food parcel donations. Some congregation members even hand knit blankets as a way of showing these new mums and babies how important and valued each of them is. Once a month in conjunction with Kidstuff Stroud, the church runs a cafe where families can come and obtain all kinds of baby and children’s clothing and equipment.
Dennis said, “We have never had to put out an appeal for the charity – people are happy to give. I’m not the best mad to talk about faith, but the way I see it, Christianity is a way of life. It’s the way we were taught to live by Jesus and it’s about the way we treat each other.”
The Cam and Dursley branch of Baby Basics provides help to people within the GL11 postcode area, but they say that they would never turn away someone in need. Stroud Baby Unit even keeps one of the baskets ready, so that they are able to help any vulnerable mother who may come in.
This new initiative by the Duchess of Cambridge has brought together brands including Child’s Farm, Green People, M&S, Frugi and the White Company to donate their products to help those in need.
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.”
If you’re inspired to set up your own branch of Baby Basics, visit their website to find out more.