Struggling new parents receive basket of essential items from Baby Basics Portsmouth to relieve strain

MOSES baskets overflowing with essential items are being created for new parents who are struggling financially.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 9:33 am

For four years, the hardworking team at Baby Basics Portsmouth have been supporting families who cannot afford nappies or clothes for their baby - but lockdown saw them expand even further.

Referrals from healthcare professionals increased dramatically over the lockdown period, but leader Diane Urquhart and her volunteers have worked hard to meet demand, even branching out to give items to older siblings.

Diane, who runs the service through Family Church, said: ‘It’s about giving them breathing space and taking some burden off.

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Baby Basics Portsmouth, based at the Empower Centre in Portsmouth, runs a volunteer-led Portsmouth baby bank which works with health care professionals who refer mums who cannot afford items for their new baby and provide them with a hamper of goods. Pictured is: Diane Urquhart, manager, of the Baby Basics Portsmouth. Picture: Sarah Standing (110820-2476)

‘Because of my history of being a neonatal nurse for years I have always had a heart for families, I have seen families at their rawest.

‘It’s really lovely to help families in such an amazing way, the thing that drives me forward with this is the stories. It’s that real community spirit and that’s what I love.’

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Alongside baskets filled with nappies, wipes, toys, clothes and more, Baby Basics Portsmouth can help with food parcels for struggling families, who come from a variety of backgrounds.

Baby Basics Portsmouth, based at the Empower Centre in Portsmouth, runs a volunteer-led Portsmouth baby bank which works with health care professionals who refer mums who cannot afford items for their new baby and provide them with a hamper of goods. Pictured is: (l-r) Dawn Ferrett, volunteer, Diane Urquhart, manager and Penny Arnold, volunteer. Picture: Sarah Standing (110820-2469)

Diane added: ‘The public is great, we get donations all the time. Families do want to help other families.

‘We have had some really good success stories, we had a couple who had their first baby just before lockdown and they were both made redundant.

‘We gave them a moses basket and food parcels, they got back on their feet, moved out of the area and dad got a job.’

Baby Basics Portsmouth, based at the Empower Centre in Portsmouth, runs a volunteer-led Portsmouth baby bank which works with health care professionals who refer mums who cannot afford items for their new baby and provide them with a hamper of goods. Pictured is: Dawn Ferrett, volunteer. Picture: Sarah Standing (110820-2459)

Mum-of-two Rosie Faulkner, from Portchester, has been volunteering with the service since September last year.

She said: ‘I really enjoy it, I’m quite fortunate I can afford things for my boys but I know there are thousands out there who can’t. It’s rewarding to know we have helped someone out who can’t afford it.’

Baby Basics UK is a network of baby banks across the country, which have recently gained the support of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

A new service, Portsmouth Baby Bank run by The Parenting Network, is due to open in the city in September.

Baby Basics Portsmouth, based at the Empower Centre in Portsmouth, runs a volunteer-led Portsmouth baby bank which works with health care professionals who refer mums who cannot afford items for their new baby and provide them with a hamper of goods. Pictured is: Diane Urquhart, manager, of the Baby Basics Portsmouth. Picture: Sarah Standing (110820-5981)

For more information, or if agencies would like to partner with Baby Basics, contact [email protected]

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