Send photos, video and news by texting GUARDIAN SERIES to 80360 (cost 10p), or email us
New baby bank for vulnerable families in Waltham Forest
A 'baby bank', which will offer toys, clothes prams and even baby food to needy parents free of charge is set to open.
The bank, which will be run by staff at the Lloyd Park Children's Centre in Walthamstow, will work like a food bank, offering vital support to families across Waltham Forest.
Lisa Hayde, 31, a family and outreach support worker at the centre in Billet Road, has been preparing for the launch of the baby bank in October with a parent who came to the children's centre with the idea.
The centre has already received donations from residents - and businesses have also stepped forward.
Ikea in Edmonton, Edufantastic in Orford Road, Walthamstow, and the Walthamstow branch of Asda have all donated items to the baby bank.
Miss Hayde said: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has donated so far.
“We have already begun supporting families by giving away the donations.
“This bank is being set up in a time when so many families have been affected by the rescission and with universal credit coming in, services like the baby bank and food banks are going to be more crucial than ever.”
On Thursday August 22 from 10am until 2pm shoppers at Asda in Walthamstow will be asked to add an extra item, like baby milk or nappies, to their shopping basket and donate it to the scheme.
Professionals like social workers and children’s centre workers will be able to refer people on to the scheme and any resident of Waltham Forest will be able to access the baby bank.
Miss Hayde said: “it is emergency support but there are no criteria to meet.
“You get plenty of working families who struggle so we didn’t want to put anything like that in place.”
Other support will be offered to people visiting the baby bank if it is needed.