New support service for vulnerable families in Eastbourne

2nd April 2024

Faith and Lara unveil the new Baby Basics service for the Eastbourne area.

A project providing essential support to vulnerable new families has been launched by Eastbourne Foodbank.

The Baby Basics project will help families who for many reasons struggle to meet the financial or practical challenges of looking after a new baby.

Part of Eastbourne Foodbank, the new Baby Basics project is affiliated with the national Baby Basics charity network. It will provide items such as a Moses basket filled with a range of items for a newborn, nappies, cots, push chairs and other essential equipment to help provide a new baby with the best possible start. This builds on the previous Best Start scheme that the foodbank has been running since 2014.

Baby Basics launch poster

The project will rely on generous donations from individuals, companies and community organisations of preloved items that are no longer required but are still in good condition for reuse.  New parents will always be referred to Baby Basics by a health care professional already working with the family. This might be their midwife, health visitor, social worker, support worker or GP.

Faith Heath who is the project co-ordinator says: “This is a really great initiative that will make a real difference for new parents who struggle to meet these costs. These items can be really quite expensive and we don’t want any babies or families in this area to go without because parents can’t afford it.”

The Baby Basics project replaces the existing Best Start project that was already in place at Eastbourne Foodbank. Faith added: “We’ve historically tried to help new parents where we can, and we’ve always been grateful to people who have donated items that are in good condition but that they no longer need or use. Baby Basics formalises that support and puts in place a consistent referral process that professionals will be able to easily access. Child poverty in Eastbourne is a real concern and we believe this work will make a real difference and give new families a good start”.

A page has been created on the Eastbourne Foodbank website with more information about what people can donate, and also what Baby Basics is unable to accept. It also contains information for the referral professionals and gives information for parents on how to access support.

Howard Wardle, the Chief Executive of Eastbourne Foodbank, said: “Faith and her team have worked really hard to bring this project together and this is a fantastic addition as a practical way of addressing the issue of child poverty in our town.  We know from providing emergency food for clients that one of the biggest challenges for new parents is providing clothes and equipment that are essential to give a newborn the best possible start in life.”

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