Baby Basics Belfast was delighted to work in partnership with St Patrick’s Parish, Broughshane, which took part in the Baby Basics four-week challenge in October/November.
The challenge was launched at a women’s breakfast on October 6 at which Jill Hamilton, Connor Children’s Project Development Officer, was present to speak about Baby Basics and how it is helping families in need in the diocese.
The church congregation then went on to take part in the four-week challenge during the next month.
Geraldine Linford, who leads the Girl Guides in Broughshane, was at the breakfast that morning and came up with the idea of getting the Guides involved in supporting Baby Basics as part of their annual Good Turn project. The Baby Basics’ team was really pleased to accept this offer of help from Geraldine and her leaders and girls.
Jill visited the girls on November 15 to tell them all about Baby Basics, speaking firstly to the Brownies and then to the Guides. The Brownies were very excited to take part, and really enjoyed looking at a sample of the packs which are given to families; a large hamper of essential items for mum and baby made up in a Moses basket.
Jill said: “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 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, organised a follow up night on December 6 when the girls made up two 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 two families who needed them.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the amount that had been collected by the girls,” Jill said. “They had brought in an amazing amount of items in just three weeks; not only did we fill two Moses baskets to the brim, but they also gave me 13 large bags full of clothing, nappies, toiletries etc to take away.”
Jill expressed 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.