Petworth baby bank provides vital supplies for families
Fighting Chance Baby Bank was set up in November 2020 to support families during tough times.
It provides clothing, toiletries, toys and baby equipment for families with children aged between 0 and five.
Kirsty Soffietto, 29, the founder of the baby bank said: “We also provide pregnant mothers with hospital bag essentials and maternity/nursing clothing. We are just like a food bank although instead of food we provide baby, child and maternity essentials.”
The baby bank covers Petworth Midhurst, Pulborough, Haslemere and all of the surrounding villages.
Child poverty is a huge problem throughout the UK.
The level of childhood poverty in 2019-20 was 30 per cent (End Child Poverty Group).
Kirsty said: “A lot of people think that our area is very affluent and therefore we don’t have issues with child poverty but sadly this isn’t true.
“Petworth which falls into the Arundel and South Downs district has a childhood poverty level of 21.5 per cent and Midhurst which falls into the Chichester district has an even higher level at 25 per cent - this is one in every four children (End Child Poverty Group).
“No family should be deprived of the basic necessities they need for their children. Baby banks are so important in ensuring those in need can easily access the items they deserve.”
There are four categories that people generally fall into when we receive a referral:
1) Newborn baby – Everything you need to set you up for the arrival of a newborn baby e.g. nappies, bottles, sleepsuits, blankets, baby wash.
2) Baby/child items – e.g. Clothing, nappies, shoes, coats, toothbrush, toys, books.
3) Maternity – e.g. breast pads, maternity pads, Maternity Clothing.
4) Large items e.g. a pram, cot, car seat, Moses basket. (Large item referrals must come in as third party/ professional referrals)
There are two donation points, one in Midhurst and another in Petworth, which accept new and second hand donations.
It posts regularly updates on what it needs on its Facebook page, which you can find here - facebook.com/FightingChanceBabyBank