Royal seal of approval for baby basics

Imagine having to choose between getting your baby enough fresh nappies and eating three meals a day. This is sadly a decision many parents have to make when their financial situation is unstable, or money is tight. But Church Army’s partnership with Baby Basics is ensuring that families in North Belfast don’t have to make that awful decision of choosing nappies over three meals a day.

Karen Webb oversees Baby Basics at the Connect Centre as part of North Belfast Centre of Mission in partnership with the Diocese of Connor. Since 2017 they’ve been providing packs of essential baby and toddler equipment to vulnerable women, including families in economic poverty, teenage mums, women seeking asylum, women fleeing domestic abuse, and who’ve escaped trafficking.

Currently Karen’s team are providing an average of 24 packs a month to different families – restoring dignity to women who have lost their sense of it through domestic abuse, poverty, or displacement.
Nationally, Baby Basics UK have found a substantial increase in the use of their services during the coronavirus pandemic, seeing a 110% increase in referrals.

Karen says, “During the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen an increase in the need to support families with babies and toddlers, especially with nappies and wipes.”

Church Army is delighted the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is supporting baby banks and vulnerable families across the UK by launching a new initiative with Baby Basics.

Karen says, “The help we receive because of the Duchess of Cambridge’s interest in the work of Baby Banks will allow us to continue supporting the most vulnerable in our community.”
The Duchess of Cambridge’s royal seal of approval has brought together nineteen British brands who will donate items to baby banks across the UK.

We are also so grateful to Belfast City Council who gave Karen a weekly grant so they were able to keep the Baby Basics’ centre stocked with toiletries and nappies during a time when local churches were not able to donate items as they had been doing before lockdown.

Collaboration with all these agencies enables Church Army to continue supporting and empowering families in North Belfast by ensuring vulnerable young families are supported and every baby and toddler has the essential items they need to thrive.

If you’d like to support North Belfast Centres of Mission as they help restore young families’ dignity, please donate online now.

Read more stories of transformation in other areas of our work here.