Salford’s Nappy Bank helps those living in poverty by providing free nappies, baby food and toiletries such as, wipes, baby bath and talcum powder.
Student Natalie Lek launched the service with a few volunteers after realising there wasn’t a resource for those in need of emergency supplies for their children.
The Nappy Bank is part of the Launch Project which was also founded by Natalie to help those within the Salford community living in poverty and social isolation.
Ms Lek, 39, said: ‘’We had a conversation with the local bakers Greggs and they allowed us to take all the unsold food at the end of the day.
‘’I shared across social media about the food and I said if any families are struggling, I’ve got food here and I can help you.
‘’A lady contacted me and asked if we gave out nappies too and I didn’t.
‘’I started having a think and I couldn’t name an organisation that provided baby supplies for those in need.
‘’So, that’s how the nappy bank started.”
The nappy bank also makes fresh baby food each month and package it into jars and give it to those in need of food for their children.
The Nappy Bank is run purely on donations and is also funded through a separate bank that provides families with school uniforms.
She continued: ‘’We collect all of the lost and found uniforms and also school wear that children have grown out of and are still in good condition.
‘’We wash and launder the uniforms and then we offer the clothes on a donation-based service.
‘’If a child is in need of a school jumper and his family are struggling financially, they can donate 50p to the nappy bank and they get the item.
‘’This means the money we get from the school uniforms helps pay for the nappy bank.
‘’We are also recycling clothes that would otherwise be thrown out or taken to the charity shop.
‘’With this we are getting it straight back out to families whilst also maintaining the stock for the nappy bank.’’
would you like to donate? we would appreciate all help no matter how small. We will provide daily receipts and photos of items your money has provided. From sanitary provisions to baby items such as #nappies, #babywipes, #babyfood #periodpoverty https://t.co/aZWvFj6JmH
— thenappybank (@thenappybank) August 30, 2018
The Nappy Bank has already helped numerous families. Within 24 hours of the nappy bank going live it had three orders.
Ms Lek said: ‘’We had a single mum who had several children and if we hadn’t of dropped off the nappies and baby wipes, she would have been forced to make a choice between paying for food and paying for nappies.
‘’We are in a time where money is tight and it is having an impact on families’ wages and the rising cost of living.’’
With Christmas approaching Natalie understands the demand she will face as families struggle to pay for presents and food for their children.
Are you worrying about #christmas? Don’t worry we are here to help with the family #essentials if you start to struggle. #familysupport #nappies #babyitems #babyfood #christmas #santa #payday #moneyworries #Finances pic.twitter.com/NYrQYvybtI
— thenappybank (@thenappybank) October 14, 2018
She said: ‘’Families struggle to finance Christmas presents and parents start to feel the pressures of wanting to provide their children with the best gift they can. So, we will have a bigger demand for the nappy bank.’’
‘’We would really appreciate help with donations such as, nappies, baby wipes, baby food and toiletries. Even the little things such as, talcum powder and baby bath can go a long way.
#ThursdayThoughts do you have spare school uniform that your #child has #outgrown? We collect and #recycle #schooluniforms to #families who are struggling in #poverty #community #children #poverty pic.twitter.com/zU4xj5zzwh
— thenappybank (@thenappybank) October 4, 2018
‘’The more fundraising and support we can get the more this service will remain sustainable.’’
To find out more about the services provided by the Nappy Bank and Launch Project click here