PLEASE NOTE: This blog post is from 2013 and we no longer run a baby bank at Gateway. If you have items to donate, you could try Birmingham Baby Bank Central.
We were delighted to receive donations for our food and baby bank from two generous Asda stores this week.
Knowing that many of our POW (Pregnancy Outreach Worker) clients are in need of basic essentials, and to coincide with this year’s International Women’s Day, staff at Asda Cape Hill generously offered to organise an in-store food bank drive for Gateway.
Judah Griffith, who is a Community Life Champion for Asda, explained, “At the Cape Hill store, we wanted to celebrate International Women’s Day, which was on 8th March. Rather than just a day, however, we organised a whole week of activities.
“I was already aware of Gateway – they’ve helped me with my voluntary work in the past – so I got in touch and asked how we might best be able to help their POWS clients. Gateway responded with a list of items they’re most in need of and we got to work.”
Staff at the Cape Hill store distributed leaflets with information about the POW service and asked customers to buy an extra item from a POW shopping list, which they could then drop in to a donations trolley on the way out.
The staff themselves then clubbed together to top up customers’ donations with their own, and asked their colleagues at the Small Heath store to do the same.
Thanks to the generosity of customers and staff, we now have some much needed parcels to give to our most disadvantaged families.
Where do donations go?
The donations have been made up into parcels which our POWs have already started taking out to their clients.
These food and toiletry parcels help us to help new mums and their families through particularly tough times.
There are lots of reasons that our POW clients find themselves in need of help to tide them over. 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.
We’d like to say a big “thank you!” to everyone who donated to the Asda drive.
If you’d like to donate…
We’re always very grateful for donations of food and baby essentials for our new mums and mums-to-be. If you think you might be able to help, please give us a call on 0121 456 7820.
The things we find really useful for our food and toiletry bank are:
Long life Milk
The toiletries that are especially appreciated include nappies and maternal sanitary pads, both of which are essential for new mums, but expensive to stock up on.
We also work closely with Narthex, who often provide food parcels to our clients. If you’re in the Sparkhill/Sparkbrook area and you want to give food to those in need, please consider taking donations to Narthex. We know they would be glad of them.
In fact there are many food banks operating in and around Birmingham. If you’re interested in finding out more, The Trussell Trust have compiled a foodbank map showing what’s available.