I was heartbroken seeing mums struggle to buy baby supplies so set up a baby bank, every child deserves the same respect | The Sun

MUMS are struggling to buy supplies they desperately need for their new babies – and often go without food so they can buy nappies and supplies.

After witnessing the heartbreaking reality of many new parents, Alison Wakefield, 46, decided to set up The Baby Room in Wigan, Greater Manchester to help.

The baby bank aims to ensure “every new baby needs to come into the world with the same respect and safety”, no matter what background they came from.

And after launching in November 2022, The Baby Bank at Spinners, in Leigh, has helped 41 families in need.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous for our Baby, Bank On Us campaign, Alison said: “After having my third baby during the third Covid lockdown in November 2020, I noticed that other mums were really struggling to get the things they needed for their new babies

"I had so many gifts that I couldn’t use because of the lockdown, it made me realise there was a need for a baby bank in our community, so I set up The Baby Room. 

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“I feel really strongly that every new baby needs to come into the world with the same respect and safety that every baby deserves, no matter what background they are coming from.”

Alison said they take referrals from Midwives and Social Workers and create bundles that are collected and delivered to families.

How YOU can support Fabulous’ Baby, Bank On Us campaign

– Give money by donating here or by scanning the QR code. 

– Give clothing, toys and essentials to a baby bank, wherever you are in the UK. 

– Give your time volunteering. To find your nearest baby bank, visit Littlevillagehq.org/uk-baby-banks.

She explained: “We make sure they are packaged in plain boxes, so the help remains dignified. 

“We provide bundles of clothing, moses baskets and toiletries for mum and baby. 

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“We make sure each baby has three sets of clothing from 0-3 months, and seasonal items such as sunhats in the summer, and pram suits in the colder months. 

“We also provide labour bags for mums, which include things to make the experience positive, like a hair scrunchy, a water bottle, slippers and a nightie. 

“Birth should be a happy time, but I know it can be really hard, especially is mum has been feeling low during her pregnancy.

“The personal reward from helping new babies is huge. It’s lovely sorting out all the little clothes and packaging it all up beautifully. 

“I just want to give someone a little bit of happiness, and make them feel a bit special.”

What are baby banks?

– Baby banks provide essential items for babies and young children whose parents are living in poverty – including nappies, wipes, clothing, bedding, Moses baskets, cots, blankets, toys and books.
– There are over 200 baby banks in the UK, and they run out of shops, community centres, warehouse units and even people’s living rooms and garages.
– Last year 4.2 million children in the UK were living in poverty and 800,000 children lived in a household that used a food or baby bank.

After launching The Baby Room less than a year ago, Alison has witnessed some heartbreaking stories, but has been able to offer hope.

“One mum lost her own mum unexpectedly,” she said. 

“She was heavily pregnant, but had been preoccupied with caring for her mum, so hadn’t had time to source what she needed for her baby. 

“We provided everything from Pram to a steriliser. 

“I was so pleased that she was able to start her new life with her baby without the added burden of worrying about how to pay for everything she needed.”

Meanwhile, another mum wasn’t able to be discharged from hospital as she didn’t have what she needed for her baby. 

Alison added: “We were able to provide everything, so she was able to go home and start her new life with her little one. 

“We have helped mums who are homeless after fleeing domestic violence, and refugees living in hotels.”

And they don’t just cater for physical needs, as they also offer a baby sign language class too.

Alison said: “Having a baby can be so isolating, I wanted to provide a place for mums to meet, and a way for mums to bond with their babies. 

“Reducing social isolation is so important.”


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Fabulous' Baby, Bank On Us campaign, in partnership with Save The Children, Little Village and more than 200 baby banks nationwide, has received the backing of The Princess of Wales, and a host of famous faces including Christine Lampard, Arlene Phillips, Leona Lewis, Aston Merrygold and Peter Andre.

The campaign has raised more than £70,000 so far and has been supported by brands including Tesco, Ocado and The Entertainer.

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