By Abigail Morrell
A CHARITY which has opened a new branch in Leeds hopes to provide everyday baby items for asylum seekers, refugees and teenage mums in need.
Baby Basics offers baby essentials such as nappies and wipes to mothers who do not have what they need for their new baby.
The charity began in Sheffield in 2009 as a response to the growing need for help for mothers unable to afford the basic essentials to look after their newborns. The charity is still going strong, with over 20 centres across the UK.
Millie Fry, 27, from Ireland Wood in north-west Leeds, recently became the Leeds centre manager, supporting the mothers in her own community.
Millie had the idea for opening the Leeds branch came after reading about Baby Basics in a parenting book while she was pregnant.
“The more I found out, the more I wanted to be part of it,” she said.
Millie and a dedicated team of volunteers work closely with health visitors and midwives, as well as Leeds Food Bank, who refer women to Baby Basics.
The Baby Basics team put together ‘Moses basket starter packs’ full of clothes, blankets, towels, nappies, wipes, and a little gift for the mums, which are then donated to those in need.
Jane arrived in the UK pregnant, and with her 2-year-old toddler. She was looking for safety, but had nothing for her children. Her midwife, who is on the Leeds Haamla team, a specialist team for refugees and asylum seekers, referred her to Baby Basics. The Leeds Baby Basics team are currently in the process of putting together one of their ‘Moses basket starter packs’ for Jane, as well as a clothing bundle for her toddler. Without their support, and the provision of everyday baby essentials, Jane would struggle to keep her children clean, safe and warm. Baby Basics has changed Jane’s life.
Millie said: “We’re a community. We all live in the same place and breathe the same air.”
She has high hopes for the future of the charity, and believes that as long as people keep donating Baby Basics will be able to keep providing.
“The real dream is that there’d be nobody in need, but that’s not realistic.”
Members of the public can donate at the charity’s main drop-off point, which is St George’s Church LS1 2BR in Leeds city centre. There is a list of items able to be donated on the Facebook page.