From nappies to blankets: A helping hand for Leeds ‘mothers with nothing’

THE TEAM: Lorna Hebden, Millie Fry, Lizzie Newham, Kate Pecher and baby Miriam.
THE TEAM: Lorna Hebden, Millie Fry, Lizzie Newham, Kate Pecher and baby Miriam.
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A charity that helps new mothers who are unable afford the basics to look after their newborn babies has opened its doors in Leeds.

The city’s branch of Baby Basics helps mums living in poverty, abusive relationships and refugees who may not have essential items like nappies, wipes, clothes and blankets.

ESSENTIALS: One of the baskets distributed by the charity.

ESSENTIALS: One of the baskets distributed by the charity.

The charity receives referrals from midwives and health professionals, and is expecting to provide “Moses baskets” packed with items to around 100 people a year.

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Centre manager Millie Fry, who opened the branch, said: “I was thinking, I’m a young, quite middle class, quite well-off person and I thought ‘I can’t imagine how difficult it is having a baby when you have nothing’. It’s really hard having kids even if you have everything you need.

“A lot of the people we will help are asylum seekers or refugees and will have little to nothing for their babies.

“We fit as much as we can get in and then that goes to the midwife to hopefully give new babies the best chance possible to have a warm and safe start to life.”

The charity was inspired by stories of women who arrive in hospital in desperate circumstances.

“The midwives don’t want to send them home because they know they are sending them home to nothing.

“Other women might have hidden their pregnancy because they are in an abusive relationship and may not have seen a midwife or had any medical help right up until the birth.”

The group will work alongside Leeds Baby Bank, a similar charity that offers essential items and second hand equipment to parents of slightly older babies rather than simply newborns.

Anyone who wants to donate can search Baby Basics Leeds on Facebook.

The charity’s main drop-off point is at St George’s Church in Leeds city centre, near to Leeds General Infirmary.

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