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MSPs welcome over 13,000 baby boxes delivered to north-east parents

By David Porter

North-east MSPs Gillian Martin and Stewart Stevenson have welcomed new figures showing that 13,495 baby boxes have been delivered by NHS Grampian to new parents across the region since its introduction in April 2017.

MSPs Stewart Stevenson and Gillian Martin have welcomed the uptake of baby boxes in Aberdeenshire.
MSPs Stewart Stevenson and Gillian Martin have welcomed the uptake of baby boxes in Aberdeenshire.

The boxes contain various essential items for a child’s first weeks and months including clothes, a changing mat and a box which can be used for the baby to sleep in.

Across Scotland, 120,193 baby boxes were delivered and the latest parent survey shows 100 per cent satisfaction.

The box also includes a reusable nappy voucher which 723 families in NHS Grampian took up.

The success of the baby boxes comes on top of the SNP Government introducing Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances – the Best Start Grant – which provides expectant mothers on low incomes with £600 for their first child and £300 for any subsequent children.

A total of £456,138 payments have been made to parents across Aberdeenshire Council and £63,008 from Moray Council.

Banff and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson welcomed the numbers and praised the government initiative.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said: “Figures show that across Scotland 96 per cent of expectant parents in Scotland are now requesting a baby box – that’s a huge vote of confidence in the baby box.

"To date, more than 120,000 have been delivered, of which 13,495 have been sent to families across Grampian, including to my Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency.

“The Baby Boxes are full of useful items such as books, clothes, blankets, a bath towel, a changing mat, a bib and a thermometer, while also providing a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment, and send a signal that every child, regardless of their background, matters.

“The baby box is part of a much wider programme by the Scottish Government to help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents during the first few months of their child’s life.”

MSP Gillian Martin, who represents Aberdeenshire East, is encouraging soon-to-be mothers to register for the baby box.

Gillian Martin said: “The Scottish Government have proudly offered a Baby Box to every child in Scotland to help ensure that every child has an equal start in life.

“I know from speaking to mothers across Aberdeenshire East just how transformative this initiative has been as they have welcomed a new-born into the world.

“The SNP Government are continuing to provide significantly more targeted support for new parents than anywhere else in the UK, to help low-income families via our Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances- replacing the UK Sure Start grant with our Best Start Grant.”

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