The generosity of Leeds residents and a grant from the Brelms trust following a fundraising appeal launched in September has enabled Leeds Baby Bank to purchase the van and employ a driver.
The charity will now be able to reach more families in need, more quickly, with its referral packages of pre-loved and new baby items for families of children under five in Leeds.
Following Leeds Baby Bank's decision to choose a more environmentally friendly vehicle, the zero-emissions van will be stored free of charge at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley.
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Will Munton, Charity Manager for Leeds Baby Bank said: “Whilst it’s heartbreaking to know there is so much demand for our service, we are stepping up to the challenge by investing in digital solutions for our warehouse, and investing sustainable transport for our charity.
"This new electric vehicle will help us speed up our service for families in crisis, and at the same avoid harming the environment.
“We started fundraising for transport in September last year and we’ve been blown away by the generosity of people in the city and we’re incredibly grateful to the Brelms Trust, John Lewis, Wesleyan foundation, CAF, Leeds City Council and Leeds United for its support too.
“Last month we delivered essential items to 77 families but there are more in need.
"We hope that we’ll be able to support more families more quickly now we have dedicated transport.”
William Gaunt, Joint Managing Director of Sunny Bank Mills said: “Sunny Bank Mills is really pleased to support the wonderful Leeds Baby Bank to go green.
"It is now more important than ever to support young families, whilst saving the planet at the same time with an electric vehicle and re-using precious equipment.”
Leeds Baby Bank supports up to 100 families each month with essential items which have been donated, checked and distributed to families in crisis.
Families are referred to Leeds Baby Bank by professionals and the charity’s work supports the efforts of NHS and local council.
The small staff team and army of volunteers work each week to put together bundles of cots, prams, clothing, baby food, and toys for the children.
The charity plans to run a public competition to name the vehicle, so head to their social media channels to suggest a name for their new van.