Baby Basics Belfast Update

Baby Basics Belfast began in January 2017 and is one of the projects being run by Connor’s Centre of Mission and is located in the Connect Base on the Shankill Road. The project is being led by Jill Hamilton (Diocesan Children’s Officer) and Karen Webb (Church Army Evangelist).

The Belfast branch is one of a growing number of Baby Basic Branches across the UK. For more information about Baby Basics see a previous article on this website at https://www.rippleconnor.org.uk/baby-basics-belfast/ or check out the main Baby Basics website at http://baby-basics.org.uk/

In the first few months of Baby Basics Belfast we established links with health professionals in the area and now we are linked with Sure Start, NHS health visitors for the Belfast area and Family Nurse Partnership (an intensive programme of support for teenage mums run by the Belfast Health Trust).

We also partnered with 2 churches in Connor Diocese both of which took on our 4 week challenge.

Glenavy Parish supported us throughout March and Drumaul, Duneane and Ballyscullion Parish supported us throughout May. We were really delighted and amazed with how generous both parishes were and with the quality of the donations we received.

We have also received knitted items including teddies, blankets and clothing from St. Matthew’s Parish and donations of clothing and toiletries from Mossley Parish.

So far, we have given out 6 starter packs which include a range of essential clothing, bedding and toiletries for baby and parents and 5 other packs tailored to the specific needs of the family in question.

Here is some of the feedback we have received from the health visitors.

I gave A her Baby Basics basket and she was absolutely delighted, very appreciative of everything. She looked at everything supplied during my home visit with her. Abby’s mother was impressed that “there are some really thoughtful and generous people out there” So thanks again!

D was delighted with the bag of supplies and found it hard to believe that people could be so generous. D was grateful to have her name added to your prayer tree and said how important that was to her.

Thank-you so much for the fabulous pack for R. I delivered it this morning and she is absolutely delighted with it!! 

We have had interest from other churches willing to be involved in our 4 week challenge and we will be in the position to take up their offers very soon as the donations already given are being distributed fast! Would your church like to get involved? If so check out our 4 week challenge below!

The 4 week challenge works like this:

The church receives a visit from us (either at the Sunday morning service or at a Church group whatever is most suitable). We share the vision behind Baby Basics, what it aims to do and who it aims to support as well as giving information about how the congregation can support the project. We ask the congregation to help by collecting donations of essential clothing and toiletries for the family of the new born baby. We provide a leaflet for everyone in the congregation to take away with them detailing what is needed. We also very much appreciate donations of money as we have to buy some new items e.g. mattresses, bedding, containers and other items. The donations are collected over the next 4 Sundays in church and at the end of the month, we come and collect all the items.  The items are sorted and stored in the Connect Base ready for distribution to families who need them in the coming weeks.

As the feedback shows, people we have supported so far have been overwhelmed that others are willing to help them and want nothing in return. Baby Basics is a great example of how the church cares for the needs of people in the community by blessing them and showing God’s love to them through the giving of these practical gifts.  The Health professionals are also very impressed with Baby basics and enjoy giving out the packs and seeing the reaction of the mums as they receive them.

If you think your church would be interested in supporting Baby Basics Belfast email Jill Hamilton at [email protected] or phone or text on 07885897022.