‘Dedicated team’ at Heckmondwike baby bank continues to help local families as bed manufacturer offers to provide 35 mattresses every month

A Heckmondwike baby bank - whose fundamental belief is ‘every child deserves the best start in life’ - is continuing to help local families into its fifth year.
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Founded in 2019, Rainbow Baby Bank, on Westgate, supplies disadvantaged families and mothers-to-be with new and pre-loved baby equipment such as cots, prams, highchairs, nappies, toiletries, clothing and baby food.

The baby bank also consists of a charity shop next door which sells, children clothing, toys, footwear and adult clothing. There is also a community hub - a free space that is available for use by local groups and agencies.

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Sam Cottam, manager of Rainbow Baby Bank, said: “The current climate is seriously affecting already struggling families. The cost of living crisis and increased energy costs means many families are facing extremely difficult decisions and the current climate is seriously affecting the families we support.

Sam Cottam with mattresses and baby gear at Rainbow Baby Bank, Heckmondwike.Sam Cottam with mattresses and baby gear at Rainbow Baby Bank, Heckmondwike.
Sam Cottam with mattresses and baby gear at Rainbow Baby Bank, Heckmondwike.

“In 2023, we helped 1,257 families. That’s an 89 per cent increase compared to 2021. Our families simply cannot afford to go out and buy a new pram, a new cot or more clothes when their child has a growth spurt or the weather changes.

“We rely totally on donations of pre-loved items and we receive fantastic support from our followers. Without their help, we really couldn’t help as many families as we do.”

One business which has helped the charity recently is Heckmondwike-based bed manufacturer, Duvalay, which has offered to provide the baby bank with “35 mattresses every single month.”

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Sam said: “We follow the safer sleeping guidelines laid out by The Lullaby Trust and we always provide a brand new mattress with every pre-loved moses basket, cot or cot-bed.

“Recently, Duvalay, part of Rascal Group, reached out to us and have generously offered to provide us with 35 mattresses every single month. These are expensive, but vital, items to purchase out of our already stretched budget and we are truly grateful to Liz Colleran, from Rascal Group, for offering their support.

“We are a small, but dedicated team at Rainbow Baby Bank. Alongside our staff members, we have a fantastic group of volunteers who selflessly give up their free time to help others.

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“We are committed to ensuring that no child goes without. Knowing that you’ve helped a young child sleep soundly, and safely, in their own cot is so rewarding.”

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The charity, which can also deliver essential items to families in need, supports midwives, health visitors, family support and social workers, housing officers, GPs, schools, other charities and Kirklees Council. In addition, it also supports five local domestic violence refuges, as well as the Palm Cove Society - a halfway house that supports victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Donations for both the baby bank and charity shop can be dropped off at their premises, 19-21 Westgate, Heckmondwike, WF16 0HE, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 2pm.

Alternatively, a collection service is offered within Kirklees for a larger collection of items. For further information, call 01924 694500.

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