Her Royal Highness, Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge has lent her support to Baby Basics centres across the UK, including at St Paul’s Ireland Wood, Leeds.
She visited the headquarters of the Christian charity in South Yorkshire on Tuesday to lead a drive for donations, which has seen major retailers such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Tesco give more than 10,000 items to baby banks across the country.
At Baby Basics Leeds (based at St. Paul's Ireland Wood) there has been a huge rise in demand for support since the start of lockdown.
Millie Fry, who leads this initiative from St Paul’s said:“We are very excited to have such a high profile supporter in the Duchess of Cambridge.
“Her work on the Heads Together campaign, and support of the BBC program Tiny Happy People, show her passion and integrity, and we couldn’t be more pleased to gain her support as baby banks across the country try to raise awareness of the great need that we are seeing.”
Baby Basics Leeds opened in January 2017 and since has completed 340 referrals (as of end July 2020). They work with healthcare professionals to provide essential newborn baby items for mothers and families who are struggling financially and facing desperate circumstances.
They provide a Moses basket filled with toiletries for baby and mother, and clothing and blankets for the baby’s first few months of life.
Some of these families do not have a safe place for their baby to sleep until they receive one of the packs, and the emotional support that they feel through the service is equally as important as the practical support.
Most of the items, except the brand new mattresses that are bought, are donated by the generous people in the community who have supported Baby Basics Leeds over the years and facilitated the service.
Millie (pictured with a basket) invited other churches in our diocese to get in touch:
“We would love churches around Leeds to partner with us, to meet the needs of our communities in a practical way.”
She explained four key aspects of a partnership:
- Please do join us in prayer - for the women & families expecting new babies in desperate circumstances, for the healthcare professionals we work with who serve their patients tirelessly, and for God’s continued provision and blessing on our our service.
- Consider being a donation point for Baby Basics Leeds, where members of the public can drop off items - please get in touch if you feel you have the space and time to do this and we can discuss requirements. If not, you can still encourage your congregation and community to donate at another donation point.
- Do you have a toddler group in the week? (Once such gatherings are allowed to reopen) If so, we would love to discuss adding the details of your group to a congratulations card that we include in our packs. We never force ourselves or our faith upon those we serve, but we want to give them the opportunity to connect with the church in a way that feels safe and provides them with community.
- Finally, each referral costs us a minimum of £5 to buy a brand new Moses basket mattress. If your church or members of your congregation would like to support us with a financial gift, one off or regular, then please do get in touch or visit our justgiving page - https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/baby-basics-leeds
Baby Basics Leeds can be found on Facebook @babybasicsleeds or email: babybasicsleeds [at] gmail.com