Baby bank on track to help 1,000 families five years after it was born

Baby Bank Norfolk sifts through donations

A volunteer sorting through donations for Baby Bank Norfolk - Credit: Baby Bank Norfolk

It was set up after a middle-of-the-night idea to reduce the amount of baby clothes being thrown away.

And five years after the Baby Bank Norfolk, based in Ives Road, was launched 956 families have been helped.

The charity, which gives out donated toys, clothes, nursery bedding and other essentials to parents of babies and toddlers aged up to 18 months, is on track to have helped 1,000 households by the end of this year.

Rebecca Marr, chairwoman of Baby Bank Norfolk, which has been running for five years

Rebecca Marr, chairwoman of Baby Bank Norfolk, which has been running for five years - Credit: Baby Bank Norfolk

Rebecca Marr, who has been chairwoman of Baby Bank Norfolk for the past four years, said: "It was set up by the original founder, Vicki Woods, and her friends with a small unit in Norwich.

"Vicki thought there were a lot of people in need in the city and there should be a way to get these items to them. Some baby clothes are only worn for three weeks but there is plenty of life left in them.

"We have grown and developed ever since then."

She added: "People have always been in need but now some are struggling from job losses, the pandemic and Brexit. The need trickles into every area of society.

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"It is wonderful we are able to help so many people. I hope that people who have babies are comfortable and have family and support around them but that is not often the case.

"We are also stopping items going into landfill and getting them used again."

She thanked the "amazing generosity" of people who donated items to the baby bank over the years, as well as its many volunteers, professionals who refer families to the charity and organisations that have given financial donations, used to buy certain items for parents.

The large amount of donations for Baby Bank Norfolk

The large amount of donations for Baby Bank Norfolk - Credit: Baby Bank Norfolk

Since it started the baby bank has given out 1,500 clothes bundles, 550 bedding bundles, over 500 newborn essential packs, over 400 toy and book bundles, 350 toiletry packs for mums, 224 Moses baskets and 270 changing mats.

People from across the county are helped by the charity and packages are given out through referrals from professionals including midwives, GPs as well as domestic abuse charity Leeway.

Baby Bank Norfolk has temporarily postponed accepting donations until the new year.

Visit www.babybanknorfolk.org.uk or search Baby Bank Norfolk on Facebook about donations.