Launch of new Baby Basics ministry in Ballyclare

Friday March 29th 2019

Pictured at the launch of Baby Basics Antrim & Newtownabbey, are, from left: The Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth (rector), Hilary Scott (Mothers’ Union Chair), Dianne Hamilton (Family Associate), Cat Ross (CEO of Baby Basics UK), and Gillian Taylor (Pastoral Care Team).

The United Parish of Ballynure and Ballyeaston (Ballyclare) has launched a new Baby Basics’ ministry in the Antrim and Newtownabbey area, inspired by the success of Baby Basics Belfast.

Baby Basics offers help and assistance to vulnerable families with new babies by providing them with packs filled with baby clothes, baby bedding, toys, nappies, wipes, and toiletries for baby, mum and dad.

The rector of Ballynure and Ballyeaston, the Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth, said: “There has been an incredible sense of partnership across the diocese as many parishes have supported the Baby Basics Ministry located at Connect Base, the North Belfast Centre of Mission.”

Along with united parish’s new Family Associate, Dianne Hamilton, Jonny has been seeking and praying about more ways of blessing people in need in the community.

“When I saw the incredible impact of Baby Basics, I sensed God prompting me to consider the similar issues within our borough,” he said.

After discussions with Connor diocesan staff, the Centre of Mission and Baby Basics, Sheffield, the United Parish this week signed a new partnership agreement to establish a Baby Basics Centre in Ballyclare and Ballynure.

Named ‘Baby Basics Antrim & Newtownabbey,’ the centre will receive referrals through midwives and health visitors from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust.

Initially the new ministry will pilot into the greater Ballyclare area, commencing on May 1 this year, but it is then envisaged that with the support of the Health Trust it will be rolled out across the entire Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough.

The United Parish Family Associate and Baby Basics Co-ordinator, Dianne Hamilton said: “We are so excited to see how this new ministry will grow with God’s direction. We are delighted at how our Mothers’ Union branch and other volunteers have come on board to help with sorting clothes and other items and blessing new mums.

“In some small way we pray that we will see transformation take place in families in our area.”

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