Baby Branches was established in 2018.
It was impossible not to see that child poverty was on the rise in the North West, with austerity hitting families hard, and more and more babies and children being forced to go without. This was heartbreaking.
Then, after our children had outgrown their clothes, toys, moses baskets, etc... we wanted to donate them to a charity which would resdistribute them to families who were struggling. We soon found there was no organisation in Preston which did that. That seemed like a complete waste.
So we set up Baby Branches.
Baby Branches aims to reduce child poverty by collecting unwanted or unused baby items and redistributing them to families in need. We also support our families by offering a sense of community and engagement with other services that may be of use. By redistributing baby goods we are also recycling, reducing waste and helping the environment.
We soon found out that we are not alone. Since 2010 there has been an explosion in the number of charities like ours being set up. Currently there are over 100 babybanks in the UK.
See the How to Donate page
All items are processed from both a quality and a health and safety perspective. We take the view that we only redistribute items that we would be happy to give to our own children.
Good quality clothes are washed in non-biological washing liquid (for sensitive baby skin) and redistributed. Clothes which we feel are not suitable for redistributing (e.g. are stained, torn beyond repair, or have missing buttons or zips) we will sell for material weight and the money received will go back into BabyBranches.
Toys and other items are thoroughly cleaned and sterilised.
Occasionally we are donated items we cannot redistribute. This may be because they are electrical items or car seats which we are not insured to redistribute, or because we have too many of a certain item. We still want the donations to make a difference so we try to pass them on to fellow childrens charities who can make use of them and who do a similar job to us (for example The Children's Storehouse in Blackburn). Occasionally we may sell these items and the money received will go back into BabyBranches.
NO! We are a charitable organisation. We are not trying to make a profit. Occasionally we may sell things we have been donated and cannot use (see above). Any money made from these sales goes back into BabyBranches and will be used to pay for additional items to donate to familes (for example cot mattresses to go with the cots we give out), costs of cleaning donations, or to meet the running costs of BabyBranches.
All members of BabyBranches are volunteers. No one is paid a wage.
BabyBranches operate by a referrals system.
We are setting up referral pathways with organisations who work with families, such as health visitors, midwives, social workers, childrens charities, domestic violence centres and other charitable organisations. This system has been shown to work well in similar organisations in other areas of the country.
If you are a professional working with families who you think we can help, please get in touch to refer them.
We attend local food banks at various locations. If you run a food bank and feel a Baby Branches pop-up would be of use, please get in touch.
We will be arranging further drop-in events in the future.
Tinies Christmas Wishes
Baby Branches is a charitable organisation but we are not, as yet, a registered charity. Under the terms of the Charity Commission, a registered charity must have an annual turnover above a certain threshold. We do not meet that threshold as yet.
Baby Branches does follow all the other guidelines for charities outlined by the Charity Commission. We have a defined charitable purpose, public benefit requirement, governing documents, appointed directors and follow the financial guidelines set out by the Commission.