Q&A With Cat Ross from Baby Basics Charity
Baby Basics is a charity, which works like a food bank for baby provisions, during the Coronavirus pandemic it has seen a huge rise in demand for its services for families across the UK. We caught up with CEO, Cat Ross to discuss their fantastic work and an exciting new initiative put together by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to help support vulnerable families across the country.
How did Baby Basics, the charity start?
Baby Basics began in Sheffield in 2009 when a midwife who was supporting vulnerable families approached her church, The Kings Centre, for support. Baby Basics started as a project of The Kings Centre Church. In 2016 we became an independent charity and began to open more Baby Basics Centres across the UK. At present, we have 40 Baby Basics Centres who all support vulnerable families through professional referrals from Health & Social Care professionals.
Please tell us a little more about the work that Baby Basics does?
Baby Basics provides essential baby/toddler equipment to vulnerable women, including but not limited to, teenage mums, women seeking asylum, women fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking. We provide clothing, toiletries and other essentials needed for life with a new baby or child under 5yrs. Baby Basics works closely with midwives, health visitors and other agencies to provide a safe, reliable service that people can trust.
We aim to not only provide some of the essentials needed but to do so in a way that preserves dignity and speaks the truth about how valued and precious these women and their children are.
Baby Basics doesn’t just donate useful items to people in need; it restores dignity to women who have lost their sense of it through domestic abuse, poverty or displacement. It involves people of all ages in the community, from children who decorate the gift boxes, to older people who knit blankets and baby clothes with as much love and care as if they were for their own grandchildren.
What has been the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on vulnerable families?
Many families in the UK find themselves in a position that they are not able to provide for their families alone. There is any number of reasons why and may include economic poverty, fleeing domestic abuse, seeking asylum to name but a few.
Not only have these already vulnerable families been impacted more by the Coronavirus Pandemic but many other families now find themselves in the position where they need the support of a Baby Bank.
Sadly with the economic downturn, the UK is facing the numbers of families needing support and only likely to increase over the coming months.
How will this initiative with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge support the amazing work that you do?
The support of this initiative will help tremendously in being able to continue to support all the families that are referred to us for support. To have so many amazingly generous brands contributing to our donations will enable us to not only reach and support more families but enable us to give some Brand New items to families which is extra special.
The donations from the brands will also help us to direct our funding to other areas of our work, knowing that some of the items we would ordinarily need to purchase are in part covered.
How many people have been supported through your incredible work?
Thousands of families will be supported through this initiative. Since the start of March Baby Basics Centres have supported over 3000 families equating too over 12,000 children. We have given out 6415 packages of support and we know that the need is only going to grow as we face a UK wide economic recovery.
What are your goals for Baby Basics for the rest of the year?
Our Goals for Baby Basics UK this year is to increase the number of centres across the UK to help ensure that every baby and young child has a safe space to sleep and no families go without the basic essentials they need for the early years of their children’s lives.
We want to support our hard-working health and social care professionals to deliver the best support and care for the families they work with.
How can people help out or donate to Baby Basics?