Young members of the JAM Group in Magheragall Parish Church are supporting new mums and their babies in north Belfast by collecting items for the Baby Basics project.
JAM is a group of young people in Year 8 to Year 11. At the end of last year, they utilised a resource called ‘The Justice Sessions,’ a five-part study sponsored by the Church of Ireland Youth Department. The teenagers followed up this bible study course in Justice by supporting Baby Basics, linking helping mums and babies with the justice issues.
Baby Basics is a volunteer-led project aiming to support new mothers and families who are struggling to meet the financial and practical burden of looking after a new baby. In Connor it is run by the north Belfast Centre of Mission, Connect Base.
The group recently presented the items they had collected (and as the photo shows they collected a lot!) to Connor Children’s Project Development Officer Jill Hamilton, who co-ordinates Baby Basics at Connect Base.
Here, the young people share their thoughts on the project:
Baby Basics is a wonderful help to mums that have just had babies and don’t have the essentials for their immediate needs. JAM took part in helping Baby Basics, just before Christmas, as we thought about Mary as a mother who did not have very much when she gave birth.
JAM was inspired to further help Baby Basics after Jill Hamilton, a woman who works for Baby Basics, spoke to our church. We then started the Baby Basics Challenge on Mother’s Day, with the whole church, and it was tremendously received.
We are doing Baby Basics to help mummies that have nothing for their babies, specifically in the north Belfast area. All the donations will go to women who, for one reason or another, cannot afford essentials such as nappies. For example, some women may have been left by their partner, abused by their partner, be refugees, or have got unexpectedly pregnant (perhaps at a young age).
We have been collecting different items such as Moses baskets, clothes, nappies, wipes, shampoo, etc. for babies. Also, we have supplied things for the mothers to help them go through having their baby and caring for themselves afterwards. Our donations might even give the babies’ older siblings some education by sending toys, books and even some crayons.
Magheragall JAM are doing this to help mothers as it is the least we can do, and we love to see the joy and happiness that Baby Basics brings to young families. It would be great if all churches could help Baby Basics because it is helping young families in need in north Belfast.
Abbie, Annabel, Claire, Rebekah, Heidi, Lucy, Emily, Emily,
Jessica and Harriet (JAM members).