As you may already know, our Pregnancy Outreach Workers (POWs) give out food parcels and essentials, like nappies and toiletries, to help new mums and their families through particularly tough times.
And now that POWS are working city-wide again, with the most vulnerable clients, we are anticipating an even greater need for “baby bank” items. It’s a bit of an unknown at the moment, as we get used to working in areas where we haven’t been active for the last few years, but we would like to make sure our cupboards are stocked.
We rely on donations from members of the public and from businesses, but it’s not always easy to share with people exactly what we need. So we’ve set up an Amazon wishlist.
Anyone can buy something for POWS from the wishlist. You choose and pay through Amazon, and it gets delivered directly to us here at the Gateway offices.
You’ll know that what you’re giving is going to be wanted and needed, and you can do it from the comfort of your armchair. (That’s not to say you shouldn’t choose to drop off donations in person if you want to, of course! We really, really appreciate the second hand and homemade baby items that we receive from kind donors!)
It also means that if we identify a need for something in particular, we can add it to the wishlist and communicate that need to our friends and supporters directly.
Why is the baby bank needed?
There are lots of reasons that our POW clients find themselves in need of help to tide them over. Most families are on a low income that has stayed low as prices have gone up over the last few years. Many women are eligible for benefits but experience delays in payment, especially during the move from Income Support to Maternity Allowance. Some women are between homes – fleeing domestic abuse, for example, or evicted from the family home. Some have fled their home country to seek asylum and have no recourse to public funds. All are trying to give their babies the best possible start despite their own vulnerability and needs, so a little help goes a long way.
The following statements were all made in just the last two weeks on our Impact Assessment App – so you can see how much the donations are needed and appreciated:
You visited with family support worker […] You talked about food parcels and said you will get me parcel from Gateway food bank. We discussed about cooking food as I do not know how to cook so I buy my food from outside, but you and the family support worker will help me how to cook food at home, so this will help me with budgeting.
You are a angel for me today. I am having very bad pain and have not bought nappies for my baby. You came to my house with the travel cot for my baby, free vouchers and labour information pack from Gateway. You accompanied me to Asda and helped me to save my money when I was buying nappies by giving me good advice to choose better and find the good price nappies and wipes. Many thanks as this was a big favour you did. I saved £7 with your advice. God bless you.
You have been a great support but I have to now gain the strength to go at it alone. You have helped me with baby clothes and court letters and other things thank you.
You helped me in my emergency, you moved my belongings to my new address and are easy to talk to. You are blessed and I’m lucky to have you working with me. You gave me baby clothes, kitchen utensils and £15.00 to help me [from the POWS hardship fund]. I appreciate you thank you so much. You took me to the Children’s Hospital so I can see my daughter in the neo natal unit.
Brought me food parcels which I was thankful for. Will refer me to children centre help with parenting course and counselling.
You gave me enough food to eat for two days. You give me hope and items for me and clothes and toys for my son. You are the only person that helped me with my health and cared to stay with me when I [was ill]. I cannot thank you enough you are so good to me I appreciate it, all the food, and I hope you can help with a place to stay for me and baby.
If you would like to donate via our Amazon Wishlist, click here to view the wishlist, then choose and buy via the Amazon website. Make sure you choose Gateway POWS as the delivery address.
If you have any baby clothes or other items that you’d like to give us in person, we’d be very grateful for those too. Phone 0121 456 7820 and we can arrange a collection, or you can drop them at our offices any time during working hours.