Walsall Healthcare has today launched its Baby Aid charity appeal to help borough mums who need extra support.
In a joint partnership, the Wren team – Women requiring extra nurturing – and Well Wishers are asking for donations of a range of items to help mums in need. The appeal is being supported by Tesco Walsall and St Matthew’s Asda Walsall who have kindly supplied items to start the appeal with Tesco also agreeing to be a collection point for donations. Baby Aid will be launched at Tesco tomorrow (Tuesday 9 April).
The Wren team works with mums-to-be who need extra support due to a number of issues including domestic violence, addiction, and mental ill health. Teenage mums-to-be are also supported.
The team is led by Specialist Midwife for Vulnerable Families Sarah Ellement and made up of Community Midwives Harry Nijjar, Lesley Jones, Gill Stonard and Ruth Broadhurst.
Sarah explained: “Referrals come from community midwives and the antenatal clinic. During ward rounds every morning we are made aware of the women and teenagers who could benefit from the extra support that the Wren team can offer.
“They may have experienced domestic violence – either personally or in a family situation – may have substance abuse issues, may be struggling with their mental health, may be Female Genital Mutilation survivors or may be having financial or housing difficulties. Many won’t have family or friends to turn to or may be in relationships that mean their health and wellbeing is at risk.”
Community Midwife Gill Stonard added: “We see women of all ages who come into hospital to have their babies and go home in the same clothes, with hardly anything for their new-borns at all because of the circumstances they find themselves in.
“This is hard to appreciate for those of us in loving and supportive family environments with friends rallying round. But it is the harsh reality for many mums-to-be and often they desperately want to improve their situation and want to provide the very best environment for their babies but understandably need the support to do so.”
Baby Aid is asking for the following items in good condition for the Wren team to distribute to give these women a much-needed helping hand:
- Baby clothes
- Cots (plus sheets)
- Baby baths
- Moses baskets
The appeal is also asking for toiletries, sanitary products, nappies and wipes which can be made into packs for mums. We will also be approaching local schools and groups to see if they would like to do some sort of shoe box appeal with these items in.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Fundraising Manager Georgie Westley said: “This is such a worthwhile appeal and we’re sure the generosity and kindness of Walsall people will make it a success.
“It’s so sad to think that there are women who literally only have the clothes they stand up in due to the circumstances they find themselves in. Every donation made will benefit women in need. We’d also like to thank Tesco and Asda for their support.”
Ahead of the appeal launch the trust has been running a Wren raffle to help raise initial funds.
The collection point at Walsall Manor Hospital is the Purple Hub in the outpatients corridor and that will be open on Monday 15 April for donations between 9am and 5pm
Additional donation dates have also been organised for May and June.