‘BABY BASICS’ – TWO CENTER OUTREACH INITIATIVE
– ARMAGH DIOCESE MULLAVILLY PARISH (Southern Part of the Diocese and wider area)
MAGHERAFELT PARISH (Northern Part of Diocese and wider area)
Baby Basics is a volunteer-led project aiming to support new mothers and families who are struggling to meet the financial and practical burden of looking after a new baby. Baby Basics started at The Kings Centre in Sheffield in the spring of 2009, and now has growing network and many centres across England, staffed by a committed team of volunteers made up from local churches and communities. Here in Northern Ireland, there is a Baby Basic Centre in Belfast which began in 2017, serving the greater Belfast area. There is one in Banbridge, Ballyclare. They work with various Professional Referral Agencies (eg; Sure Start, HSCT, Midwives through local GP and Health Centres, Salvation Army, Woman’s Aid, etc) and also with parishes in the their respective Dioceses.
Baby Basics provides much needed essentials and equipment to mothers and families who are unable to provide these items for themselves; including but not limited to teenage mums, people seeking asylum and women fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking.
Working with midwives, health visitors and other professional groups to provide support directly where it is most needed, Baby Basics volunteers lovingly collect, sort and package a ‘Moses Basket’ of clothing, toiletries and essential baby equipment as an attractive gift to new mothers.
The aim is to help these new mothers practically and generously, demonstrating the love of God through our care. God is at the centre of ‘Baby Basics’ as we are inspired and motivated by His heart for everyone. Every day we continue – and every item we send out, is thanks to His kindness, grace and provision.
Our vision is based on Matthew 25:37-40:
‘Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Baby Basics relies on donations, to make up the ‘Moses Basket starter packs’. Items such as a Moses Basket, baby bath, Nappies, wipes, baby towel, blankets, knitted cardigans, and items for the mother such as shower gel, breast pads, etc. In keeping with health and safety regulations all baskets are given out with a brand new mattress.
Each centre is run by volunteers when they meet to pack baskets and sort items that have been donated. These can be volunteers from the local parish or from other local churches or the community. Financially there is a small outlay every month as part of the registration to Baby Basics and to purchase new mattresses for the Moses Baskets or other small items or packaging.
As this is a two-centre initiative, within the Diocese, but for the benefit of those across our communities, we are asking that Parishes might consider the following:
1. Pray for this new outreach and for the Parishes of Magherafelt and Mullavilly as they begin this project in their respective areas.
2. If you have anyone in your parish, close to either of these centres who would be willing to volunteer or help sort or pack baskets, please get in touch with the Rector.
3. Would you parish be willing to supply some items. (please see list below):
4. Maybe this is something you would like to support – but would prefer to send a ‘small donation’ to help purchase new mattresses etc. as part of your own Parish Mission & Outreach ‘at home’.
If you would like further information please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to discuss this with you.
Rev. Elizabeth Cairns – 02838840221
Rev Terry Scott - 02879632365
It may be a project that your Sunday School or Children’s ministry might like to get involved in by providing ‘one item’ each or your Mothers Union or Ladies Group, might like to take on providing items for the mum – again just ‘one’ item each.
It has been suggested that a particular Mothers Union may like to provide only Shampoo OR Shower Gel for mums and a Sunday School provide only Baby Shampoo or Wash and another Church/MU/SS choose a different item. But this would be entirely up to your individual group or Church. We would be grateful for any items above as all items will be put to good use and appreciated by those who will receive them.
Any items that we receive that are not suitable will be passed on to another charity. If you have something you think might be useful to us, please do ask and we will certainly advise.