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North-east church supplies basics for new parents from its ‘baby bank’

26 November 2021

Church of England

The Vicar of St John’s, the Revd Lee Cleminson, sorts clothes at the baby bank

The Vicar of St John’s, the Revd Lee Cleminson, sorts clothes at the baby bank

A CHURCH in North Tyneside is supporting more than 60 families by offering a “baby bank” of basic supplies to new parents who are struggling to afford essential items for their newborns.

The North Shields Baby Bank, which is based in St John’s, Percy Main, has supplied items including nappies, wipes, clothing, and baby formula since it first opened during the summer.

The Vicar of St John’s, the Revd Lee Cleminson, said that there was a “clear need” among new parents, some of whom had been approaching the vicarage for help. “We’ve all heard of foodbanks and know what a valuable lifeline they are for people struggling,” he said on Wednesday. “However, as a result of parents’ discreetly contacting the vicarage, asking for help, there was a clear need for a similar scheme which supplied basic baby items.

“One mother who came to the church for help explained that she was having to choose between charging her electric meter and buying nappies for her beautiful newborn baby boy. She was desperate, and said she never ever thought she’d see herself in this position.”

A local housing association, Karbon Homes, donated £4935 towards the initial set-up and running of the project. The service was now being supported by donations from the community, Mr Cleminson said.

One mother whose baby arrived early said: “I had nothing. The volunteers provided me with the most beautiful baby bundle. . . If it wasn’t for the help of the baby bank, I don’t know what I would have done.”

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