Birmingham group aiming to help families at Christmas.
Baby Aid Birmingham was born in March 2020. With existing poverty and deprivation affecting many people in Birmingham already, and existing pressure on local food banks, the Covid-19 pandemic made things increasingly difficult for parents to provide for their young children. Sensing a spike in child poverty, local residents Nicky Brennan and David Barker set about creating a baby bank to fill this gap before the problem grew any further.
Nicky is a city councillor, representing Sparkhill. A single mother of three, she brings a wealth of parenting experience. Having had her first child at sixteen, she has spent most of her career in the charity sector, supporting women fleeing domestic abuse or at risk of homelessness. Most recently she won an award from the Aston Villa Foundation for her work with Baby Aid Birmingham.
Before setting up Baby Aid Birmingham, David had spent five years working with food banks across the West Midlands. This hands-on experience of working with people in crisis has given him a deep understanding of impact of poverty and the lack of provision for families with young children. David had also worked in schools, as a journalist, and as a political campaign manager.
From its first few weeks operating out of Nicky’s house and reliant solely on individual donations, Baby Aid Birmingham has grown month on month, moved into its own premises and now has a dedicated team of volunteers.
Whilst the creation of Baby Aid Birmingham was prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the need to support families with young children on a low income or in crisis existed before Covid-19 and will sadly continue after.
Since opening in March 2020, Baby Aid Birmingham has helped an average of 250 children a month, providing them with emergency supplies for their children. These packs usually include nappies, baby food and toiletries. There was already a need for an organisation like us, but with the arrival of Covid-19 essentials became unaffordable for even more families.
If anyone knows someone who needs help, they have an online referral form to use. If families need regular support, they ask for a support worker to fil it out so that there’s another layer of accountability, but also to make sure the family receive the right items. You can view the form, and a guide, here
The website babyaidbirmingham.co.uk has information about how to give help and get help, and while National Lottery funding helps cover core running costs, this Christmas they are selling bespoke Christmas cards to raise funds to purchase presents for the children helped year-round.