Maggie Anderson and another Baby Basics volunteer sorting out donations from the public Picture: Ian Burt
Safer Summer Staycation
Safer Summer Staycation

More help is at hand for new mums facing hardship thanks to an appeal in Your Local Paper.

The Fairstead Community Shop issued an urgent appeal earlier this month for donated items to help mums struggling to buy essentials for themselves and their newborn babies.

As a result, kind-hearted readers flocked to the Centre Point shop with items such as nappies, prams, bedding, clothes and toys.

And Baby Basics West Norfolk also saw the appeal in YLP, got in touch with the store volunteers and has now teamed-up with the community shop.

Emma Brock shop manager said: “After the article we had some lovely donations from people. Then we had a visitor from Baby Basics, she wanted to see what we did and it turned out we didn’t know about each other and what we do.”

The community shop has been helping families in need since last February by selling clothes, toys and household items at an affordable price and, in turn, putting money back into the community.

Mrs Brock said the numbers of vulnerable women coming through its doors had increased and she welcomed the opportunity to team-up with Baby Basics.

“We are a place where people can talk and not feel judged. And now, by working with Baby Basics, we can help make it easier for families,” she said.

“We can now refer mums to Baby Basics and our shop is a collection point. They were looking for a new collection point after the Sure Start Centre closed.”

The Baby Basics charity was established in 2009 in Sheffield, when a lead midwife for vulnerable women was shocked to learn mums could not afford sanitary wear after giving birth. 

Some of the mums include teenagers, asylum-seekers and those fleeing from domestic violence. 

They are usually referred to the charity by a healthcare professional such as a midwife or health visitor. 

The West Norfolk branch, based in Dersingham, was launched four years ago. Volunteers collect, sort and fill Moses baskets with clothing, toiletries and essential baby equipment for mums in need.

“Baby Basics is delighted to be working with Fairstead Community Shop. Every item given will be sorted by our team and given to those women who need extra help and support,” said Maggie Anderson, a volunteer at the charity.

“There is a growing network of community groups and churches across the country running a Baby Basics project and here in West Norfolk referrals can be made via email to and all we need is the mum’s name and the baby’s due date along with the gender if it’s known.”

Safer Summer Staycation