Zaynab Hayat Butt is settling her baby Mukarram into the pram she received at her local babybank.
Until late in her pregnancy, Zaynab worked in a cake shop, and her husband in a low-waged job in pest control.
She found out she was expecting late into pregnancy and they had no savings.
“My colleagues held a baby shower, which helped greatly, but we still didn’t have a pram or a baby bath,” Zaynab, from South London says.
“Little Village babybank were so generous.”
On an industrial estate in the West Country, volunteers are sorting through clothes and equipment for struggling new parents. Nicola understands the importance of every item.
She was referred to Gloucestershire Bundles babybank herself when her son grew out of his basic cot.
With her husband on a low wage, they couldn’t afford a new bed for him to sleep in.
Twenty years after Tony Blair ’s speech in the spring of 1999 promising to eradicate child poverty within a generation, nothing is more damning than the explosion of babybanks – a phenomenon even more nationally shaming than the need for foodbanks in our wealthy country.
In Liverpool, one Labour councillor, Gerard Woodhouse, reveals some new mums in his Everton ward are being forced to leave hospital without their babies after giving birth, thanks to cuts including Universal Credit .
“What we are finding is there are people having babies who have not got a cot, pram or anything to take the baby home,” he says.
“The baby is left in the hospital when the mum goes home until a social worker or the NHS find provisions.”
In response, Woodhouse helped set up a babybank at the L6 community centre, which opened this week. Two giant shipping containers have been overhauled and decorated and are now packed with everything parents might need.
Today, Abigail Mobey has come in with her daughter, Janine, who is just a week old.
A refugee from Ethiopia, the 34-year-old desperately needs baby equipment and a school uniform and shoes for her two older children.
Referred by the children’s school, she and her sister have arrived here carrying the baby in a donated car seat.
“You don’t like to ask for help, but I don’t have any choice,” she says.
As a volunteer shows her to the babybank ‘shop’ Abigail looks overwhelmed. She’s handed a couple of bags and told to fill them with baby clothes and newborn nappies.
While she shops, another volunteer wheels a brand new dark grey pram towards her to take home.
“It feels like I’ve won the lottery,” Abigail says. “It’s a miracle. You don’t want your children to get bullied for having the wrong uniform.
"Now my son will have proper school shoes. My daughter was the only one at school who doesn’t have the summer uniform and now she does.
“It isn’t just the things they’ve given me. To be greeted with a smile and a hug means more than anything.”
New figures show 35,000 families have been helped this year alone by babybanks.
One organisation, Little Village, has handed out more than £1million worth of kit to 2,000 desperate families since they launched in 2016, including 30,000 nappies, 753 cots and 604 buggies.
Across the country in the small market town of Newark, Notts, Dave and Carole Lambourne have been inundated by donations after setting up a babybank in their garage.
They set up Little Fishes after seeing an advert for something similar in North Yorkshire.
Newark became a full rollout area for Universal Credit a year ago, adding to the strain on families.
“It is shocking in this day and age that parents need to use to babybanks, but it is reality,” says Carole, 55, who volunteers at Individual Mentoring Partners and Churches Together.
“There are parents out there who are working but still struggle to put food on the table.
“We have been amazed at the generosity of the community. People have donated Moses baskets, clothes, unused breast pads, pregnancy paper knickers and packs of nappy bags, which some parents would consider a luxury if they can’t afford it.”
Dave, 58, a semi-retired aerospace engineer who worked for Rolls-Royce, said he wanted to give back to the community.
“We are here to help anyone, from families who need last- minute or emergency items to parents or pregnant women who don’t have support from anyone,” he says.
In London, Zaynab hopes to return to work later this year. She plans to donate the pram back to the babybank as soon as Mukarram is old enough.
“The pram is in new condition and will come in useful for somebody else in my position.
"I’ve also been collecting other items and clothes to donate because I want to give back to the babybank. They helped me so much.”
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