Baby Basics Belfast was delighted to work in partnership with St. Patrick’s Parish, Broughshane who took part in our 4-week challenge in October/November. The challenge was launched at the women’s breakfast on 6th October when Jill Hamilton came along and spoke about Baby Basics and explained how it is helping families in need in our diocese. The church congregation then went on to take part in the 4-week challenge during the next month.
Geraldine Linford who leads St Patricks’ Girl Guides in Broughshane, was at the breakfast that morning and came up with the idea of getting the Guides involved in helping Baby Basics as part of their Annual Good Turn project. The Baby Basics team were really pleased to accept this offer of help from Geraldine and her leaders and girls.
Jill visited the girls on 15th November to tell them all about Baby Basics, speaking firstly to the Brownies and then to the Guides and Rangers. The Brownies were very excited to take part, and really enjoyed looking at a sample of the packs we give to families; a large hamper of essential items for mum and baby made up in a Moses basket. The girls asked lots of questions and were very keen to go home and explain everything to their families and bring items in to help. The Guides and Rangers listened with real interest to some stories of families who have been helped already by Baby Basics and some of the circumstances behind why families can find themselves in financial difficulty and need our support in the short term. They too were enthusiastic about getting involved and helping local people in our own diocese.
Geraldine along with her leaders Hannah Aldridge, Cathy McCaig and Katie Witherspoon then organised a follow up night on 6th December when the girls made up 2 complete baskets to present to Baby Basics Belfast. They asked Jill to come back to help the girls make up the baskets so that they were ready to go out to 2 families who needed them.
Jill said “ I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the amount that had been collected by the girls -they had brought in an amazing amount of items in just 3 weeks; not only did we fill 2 Moses baskets to the brim but they also gave me 13 large bags full of clothing, nappies, toiletries etc to take away.”
A special word of thanks to Geraldine and the leaders who were extremely generous and proactive in bringing in donations themselves. They toured charity shops in the area for baby items and asked for support in their work places and were fantastic motivators and role models for the girls. So a huge THANK YOU to you all and to Geraldine’s husband James for taking the photos!