• Rebecca T

Gifting a lease of life to little lives

According to various research the cost of having a baby is between £6,000 - £10,000 in the first year alone. It's not surprising that, at least in present times, new parents are struggling.

The Little Baby Barn is brainchild of mum of one year old Ted and Not Another Mum Group member, Ali. It aims to help out such parents by giving them what they need without a cost to them.

With Baby Banks currently being closed (due to Covid 19) and Ali being on furlough from her job, she saw a chance to make a difference.

Donations from local families are cleaned, repaired, refreshed and reorganised to be regifted as essential bundles to other families in need. All without Ali making a single penny, from her home in Staffordshire.

Each week, she is able to gift on average 5 or 6 prams/travel systems, Moses baskets, highchairs and sets of essential baby items such as clothing, nappies, toiletries and feeding equipment to local mums. However, as much as she enjoys helping out new or growing families she is struggling with space at home and money to make it work, to store, sort and clean everything.

The Little Baby Barn has built a strong following and is lucky enough to receive wonderful donations from other families, taking special requests and even helping out new triplets, preemies or up to 10 families in one day!

Ali says; "I worked in childcare for a long time (qualified maternity nurse and nanny) I changed career to be an executive PA but 12 months ago I had Teddy and he changed my world.

I am an absolute pram addict, like it’s a problem! Always have been. So when I was younger I started buying prams that were really fit for the skip (sometimes even getting them from the tip)! refurbishing them and selling or giving them to people I knew who needed them, it grew into TLBB! I have over the years been able to offer parents the opportunity to have the best preloved equipment for their little ones at a fraction of the retail cost and now thanks to the generous donations from others I am able to provide for families with nothing, in desperate need the absolute best items for their babies, at no cost to them.

I get huge satisfaction from bringing baby things back to life and rehoming them with a new family.

I went back to work when Ted was 6 months old (for 3 days a week) then Corona hit, I’ve been furloughed and in the first few weeks I started to feel really miserable. I had an idea, I wanted and needed to do something to help but I’m limited as I have Ted with me 100% of the time and my partner is a key worker so I’m on my own.

I realised that the Baby Bank can’t operate as it usually does but with some adjustments TLBB could so why not do my bit to help! Wow, it's really taken off, I didn’t realise it would, it’s a full time job and then some! However, the 16 hour days, sorting, cleaning and preparing bundles for new babies is worth it, I watch women come to my driveway, see the items I’ve prepared for them and sob, sob with happiness, relief, gratitude all the emotions, I then cry too!

I want to keep doing this as long as possible because there is a great need and there is a heck of a lot of baby stuff out there not being used. It doesn’t pay me anything apart from satisfaction and pride maybe, but I’m ok with that. Long term who knows where it’ll go...."

But among all the positive stories for other people, the task is putting a huge strain on Ali's time, finances and relationships. As a one-woman band, it's incredibly tough to find the resources to make it all happen.

That's why we thought we'd step in. We want to spread the word to help Ali keep running The Little Baby Barn, and helping new families with what they need to look after a new baby.

Would you be able to help? Here are some of the ways you can help Ali:

  • Do you have a local space, empty retail unit or even a storage unit where Ali could store and sort donations?

  • Would you be able to donate to The Little Baby Barn fund to help buy essential cleaning supplies?

  • Could you help in any other way?

The Little Baby Barn accepts donations and

re-gifts baby items such as prams, pushchairs, cribs, baby monitors, high chairs, car seats and nappies. To find out more, please get in touch with Ali here.


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