Future of Leeds Baby Bank in doubt unless new home is found
The clock is ticking for Leeds Baby Bank as volunteers have less than three months to find new premises or face the prospect of limiting their support for struggling families.
The baby bank currently has four rooms spread around St Catherine’s Business Complex, in Bramley, but its lease expires at the end of April.
Baby bank co-founder Chantal Nogbou said a potential shop unit looked as though it was going to fall through, leaving the organisation in a difficult position if they could not find a new home quickly.
She said: “I think we would have to get a storage unit and put everything into there until we can find something, which will mean paying quite a lot of money and it’s not going to function as well.”
The worries about finding a new home come after a break-in at the current base, which resulted in the theft of a new boxed high chair, bags of new toys, nappies and other items.
And with demand for its services constantly growing, the timing could not be worse.
“Every week we get more and more families referred as people hear about us,” Chantal said. “We wouldn’t be able to cope keep up with the demand without a proper base.
“The sad thing would be that it could be the end of the Leeds Baby Bank.”
The ideal premises would be a large unit or a series of rooms all on one floor, with lift access if not on the ground floor.
Parking and nearby public transport links are also a key consideration.
Chantal said: “We need somewhere low-cost but it would be nice if it was somewhere free. Depending on where our next base is, we’re very much hoping to have some kind of community drop-in.
“It doesn’t have to be pristine. We’re quite happy to roll up our sleeves and get scrubbing.”