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Huntly advice hub adds baby bank to its services to support families


By Pat Scott

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Emma Selway-Grant at Gordon Rural Action surrounded with some of the items in the baby bank. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Emma Selway-Grant at Gordon Rural Action surrounded with some of the items in the baby bank. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

A SCHEME to support the youngest members of the community around Huntly and across the Marr area has been launched by Gordon Rural Action.

Following on the success of the school uniform bank which opened last summer, a baby bank with everything needed for babies and toddlers has been established.

The entirely free service aims to provide nappies, toiletries, bottles, breast pumps, formula, clothing and bedding along with larger items such as cots and prams.

GRA hopes that families will donate items which are in a good, clean condition but which they no longer require to the baby bank.

They would also appreciate donations of nappies, baby wash, baby shampoo, wipes and similar items from anyone who would like to help.

Once lockdown is eased, donation bins will be put in a number of locations but in the meantime, anyone who would like to donate should email enquiries@gordonrural.org.uk to arrange a suitable drop off time.

Emma Selway-Grant, one of the advisors at GRA had the idea for a baby bank and really hopes that it will be well enough stocked to help families with most things.

GRA already operates a school uniform bank which has been very successful. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
GRA already operates a school uniform bank which has been very successful. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

She said: "The idea came as an extension of the Uniform Bank. People often ask us for items for younger children, so we recognised there was a need. As a mum of four, I know the financial pressure that can come with having a baby and toddlers.

"You need so many things for babies and they only use some of them for a matter of weeks. The last year has led to new financial challenges for people and combined with a baby boom I think this service will be very popular and provide a proactive approach to eliminating poverty and providing for babies and young children for families facing financial pressures."

The idea is that families supported by the baby bank could return items where appropriate once finished with them.

To accommodate the baby bank, there will be changes in GRA's charity shop, Bargain Box, to allow access from the main entrance to the Huntly Advice Hub.

Initially the service must operate remotely with requests sent by email or telephone an appointment made, but in the longer term it is hoped it will open on a drop in basis.

Recently the Marr area committee approved a grant of £2000 towards the project and the outcome of an application to Huntly Community Council's microgrants scheme is awaited.

Councillor Gwyneth Petrie described the idea as “brilliant.”

Councillor Moira Ingleby said: “I have been reminded just how much equipment a new baby seems to require and the cost of some of the items is quite eye-watering so I would absolutely support this.”

It is estimated that £4000 is needed for structural work, some redecoration, flooring, and to buy shelving, storage boxes and a steam cleaner.

The baby bank will be operated by volunteers and staff.

New volunteers are always needed and anyone who would like to volunteer to assist with the baby bank, uniform bank, Bargain Box, the Advice Hub or donate to the projects should email enquiries@gordonrural.org.uk


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