Leeds Baby Bank more helpful to widower caring for two babies than anyone had been in two years
When a widower with two young children, in a new city, away from family and friends then lost his job - it was Leeds Baby Bank that came to his aid.
The compassion from staff and volunteers moved John (name changed to protect his identity) to tears and was just as important to him as the childcare essentials he had asked for so he could provide for his two young children, aged two years and ten months old, whom he is now bringing up alone following the death of their mother.
He had moved to Leeds for work after his partner died last year, and two months afterwards he lost his job. After asking his GP for help, nurseries, the council and the Citizen's Advice Bureau it was Leeds Baby Bank that really made the difference and after months of phone calls, form filling and admin around caring for two children under two on his own and beyond on he breadline - that is when the tears came.
John said: "They were more helpful than anyone had been in two years. There were tears of joy, tears of hard work. They were so gentle and a pat on the back, especially during the pandemic, you really did feel something. If I had the time to help out I would and repay them and support, I just can't explain it. Knowing I can go into the kids' rooms and these guys have given plenty of stuff, and the kids are alright and I am not running around like a headless chicken - that is just there.
"When you are stuck and you can't do anything they are life-savers."
John is slowly starting to re-build his life but worrying about money as well as grieving has taken its toll.
He added: "I have been in some pretty dark places, around the kids and on my own. There is a difficulty in not having friends in the city and support that is quite close. This is one on my own but the pay off will be in a couple of years when I look back and say 'I did this and it wasn't just for me but it was for her and the kids'."