At Mum & You, we’re big on giving back to our communities.
And as parents, we never seem to be short of out-grown baby clothes and toys, and the best thing we can do is donate these on to parents and families in need of basic necessities. Not only is passing on your little one’s clothes to those in need a fantastic way to ensure your clothes go on to another lease of life, but it also reduces the amount of material and clothing waste that is accumulated in landfill every year. According to clothes recycling charity ClothesAid, 350,000 tonnes, that’s around £140 million worth of used but still wearable clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year
Baby banks are a solution to this waste and to those suffering from poverty in our local areas, especially since our children outgrow their clothes in record time. Most baby banks take in used clothes that are in good condition, toiletries, nappies, wipes, toys and even medicine to donate to members of our community who are unable to access them easily.
However, we do know that it can be hard to find the time to sit and sort through all your belongings when juggling every other aspect of life, and knowing where to turn to donate your items means finding a few moments of calm amongst the chaos to have a quick online search. It’s much more time-consuming than it should be! So, in our bid to encourage more of our customers and community to donate items that they no longer need, we’ve put together some resources for you all in one place in hopes of making your donation process to those in need a little bit easier.
And with the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic putting pressure on communities across the globe, more and more families are turning to baby banks to get by.
London-based charity Little Village provides clothes, toys, hygiene essentials and equipment for babies shares that one third of all children under five in the UK are living in poverty. They found that 31% of families were specifically referred due to Covid-related economic hardship or unemployment and 33% of families were homeless or living in temporary accommodation. In 2o21 alone, Little Village helped 6,463 children by donating 6,737 packs of nappies and 11,764 toiletry packs.
Similarly, local food banks have also been impacted by the upheaval of multiple lockdowns and empty supermarket shelves, with more and more individuals and families turning to food banks in a time of crisis.
The need for baby banks has never been so in demand. But what is the best way to find your nearest one?
There are many baby banks across the UK that are always happy to take in donations. Little Village provides a fantastic resource on their website that shows a map of over 150 baby banks in the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland. Simply scroll over your local area to find your local drop-off points. Additionally, we have put together a list below that highlights baby banks by area.
Find baby banks and other donation drop-off points near you.
With over 150 baby banks across the UK, there’s bound to be one local to you!
- Little Village offers several locations across London – in Battersea, Balham, Southwark, Watford, Brent, Hampstead and Camden.
- Ten Little Toes Baby Bank also provides clothing, nappies, and baby equipment for children aged 0-5 across Crawley, Horsham, and Worthing
- Baby Godiva in Coventry
- The Small Project in South London
- Cascade Baby Bundles in Cheshire helps families with children up to the age of 10
- Best Start Baby Bank in Eastbourne
- Lloyd Park Children’s Charity supports families in Waltham Forest
- Stripey Stork offers support in East Surrey
- The Salvation Army offers baby banks in both Ealing West London and Ilford in Essex.
- Baby Bank Network in Bristol
Another great tip to find local baby banks is to turn to Facebook. Type ‘baby bank’ into Facebook and dozens of organisations come up that may have otherwise gone under the radar.
Doing a bit of research before making the trip ensures you know exactly what your baby bank is in need of.
Some baby banks do not accept toys and some do not accept clothes if they already have an excess to get through. In our experience, we’ve found that many baby banks are always in need of toiletries such as nappy cream, nappies in various sizes, and baby wipes. If you have any open packs of nappies lying around that your little one has grown out of, it’s worth asking if your local baby bank accepts them.
Top tip | Managed to find time to sort your donations? Stick them in the boot of the car so that they’re on hand next time you find yourself near a baby bank, charity shop or donation point!
There are many initiatives set up to allow you to easily donate clothes and hygiene essentials to families and individuals in need.
High street baby retailer JoJo Maman Bebe also provides donation drop-off points in-store as part of their From a Mother to Another campaign. You can drop off out-grown clothes in certain stores, which will then pass on the donated goods to their baby bank partners including Baby Basics & Little Village baby banks and Trussell Trust foodbanks amongst some smaller charities helping across the UK and Ireland. As a thank you, you will also receive a £5 voucher to spend in-store.
As of July 2021, high street retailer Boots joined forces with The Hygiene Bank, offering donation points across 400 stores in the UK. The Hygiene Bank is a grassroots charity that supports families and individuals across the UK by giving hygiene, personal care & household cleaning products to those in need. We at Mum & You also support The Hygiene Bank with our donations of nappies, wipes and stock as well as offering our customers the chance to make a £2 donation to The Hygiene Bank at checkout. Last year, we raised £2,788 for The Hygiene Bank with thanks to our generous customers!
Similarly, Boots have also launched e-vouchers on Boots.com, for customers to donate directly to The Hygiene Bank to help people living in Hygiene Poverty. By purchasing this product, it makes a donation of £3.00, £5.00 or £10.00 dependent upon your selection which helps to provide essential hygiene products to people across the UK experiencing poverty. This is a fantastic option for those who are unable to get out or travel to donation points.
You can find The Hygiene Bank’s drop-off locations on their website – find the map here.
Another great option is finding “babies and kids” charity shops, such as Fara Kids Charity Shop. The charity’s mission is to “transform the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people, and families in Romania, giving them a sense of family”. Fara has shop locations across London in which you can drop off donations, as well as being available to purchase from online. They accept most essentials such as buggies, clothes, toys, and even seasonal items like children’s ski gear.
The donation process is also a great way to get the kids involved, especially older children. It’s a natural way to open up the conversation of helping others and how acts of kindness can positively impact the lives of others.
Have you found this post helpful? We are always on the lookout for new charities and initiatives that support members of our community and families in need. If you have any recommendations, let us know in the comments below – we love to hear from you!
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