After an urgent search for a new home, Baby Bank Network has secured a new large space in Bristol which means more families will benefit from their help.
Baby Bank Network – which collects pre-loved baby essentials and distributes them to families in need – was relying on a donated unit at Big Yellow Storage in St Phillips, but soon outgrew it and had to put a halt on donations until a new solution was found.
Thanks to their small army of volunteers and some generous monetary donations from supporters, the charitable organisation has now moved into a bigger premises in Southmead and is able to store more donations and help more families.
Since it launched in the summer, Baby Bank Network Bristol has supported more than 50 local families over the past few months with essential items for their babies. It will now be able to help up to 10 families a week.
“We got to a point where we just didn’t have the infrastructure to be able to deal with the demand and we urgently needed a proper home,” said co-Founder Eva Fernandes.
“We had hoped to secure a larger donated space but after several months of searching we were thrilled to learn of this empty retail unit and managed to negotiate a great rental rate.
“It secures the short-term future of the Baby Bank Network Bristol as we can ramp up our efforts to help even more families. Of course, now the challenge is to attract more volunteers to help meet demand and work on fundraising to help cover the ongoing rental costs.”
Baby Bank Network is taking part in Starbucks and Neighbourly’s #RedCupCheer campaign, which could see them win a grant to help cover the rental costs for the new premises and is urging supporters to get behind them in this.
The campaign launches today (16 November) and will end on 6 December. Baby Bank Network is guaranteed a £500 grant, but will see this doubled to £1,000 if it can secure enough social media support under the #RedCupCheer hashtag.
“Since we were founded in 1971, we’ve sought to be a force for positive action in the communities we serve,” says Simon Redfern, Director of Corporate Affairs, Starbucks EMEA. “By bringing customers together for some #RedCupCheer, we hope to support some great local charities and celebrate the work they do every day of the year.”
Nick Davies, Founder of the Bristol-based Neighbourly, added: “Red Cup Cheer is a fantastic way for Starbucks to connect with projects close to the hearts of customers and colleagues in their local communities. Good luck to all those participating.”
Baby Bank Network took part in Local Giving’s Grow Your Tenner campaign last month, securing over £2,000 – enough to cover rent on the new premises for 6 months. This addition would cover a further 3 months, guaranteeing the organisation’s ability to support families in Bristol at least until their first anniversary next Summer.
Working with a range of other organisations in Bristol, Baby Bank Network is regularly reaching those families who would benefit from this support – from women’s refuges and refugee organisations to homeless charities and health visitors.
If you’re interested in supporting Baby Bank Network, please visit www.babybanknetwork.com