Need help with the costs of having a baby? Ilford Salvation Army opens baby bank

John Clifton and Naomi along with otherss from the Salvation Army have set a Baby Bank. John Clifton

John Clifton and Naomi along with otherss from the Salvation Army have set a Baby Bank. John Clifton and Naomi along with others with all the baby bank donations. - Credit: Archant

If you are struggling to cope with the cost of buying essentials for your baby, a new baby bank may provide the answer.

The Salvation Army started the bank, which has used clothes, prams and toys among numerous other items, to help parents with everything a new baby needs.

Organisers say they got the idea after being approach by a new mother who was struggling to afford the basics she needed before the arrival of her baby.

John and Naomi Clifton, of the Clements Road, Ilford branch, asked parents at their toddler group for any unwanted items to help her and said they were overwhelmed by the response.

Naomi said: “The parents were so generous we’ve been able to help several families in similar situations from what they gave.

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“Caring for a baby is incredibly rewarding but it’s challenging too - knowing other people are there to help can make a big difference!”

Naomi said even she was surprised by the sheer number of books, toys and clothes which had been given and they even had to buy lots of boxes to keep it all in.

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“Babies grow so quickly and the cost of clothes, nappies and milk can really add up! The baby bank is one way that Ilford Salvation Army is trying to help all babies have the best possible start in life.”

She said numerous parents and grandparents had approached the Salvation Army saying they were finding it difficult meeting the costs of having a baby.

“Over recent months we’ve seen a growing need for the baby bank,” Naomi said. “One family we’ve helped was struggling to afford baby items because of long delays with her benefits. Others have low paid jobs but struggle to make ends meet.”

The baby bank is open on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays from 10-11.30am with friendly chat with staff and refreshments also on offer.

Donations of good quality baby clothes, toys and equipment are welcome and can be dropped off at the Salvation Army.

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