Giving children a Brighter Beginning

Rushden, Brighter Beginnings, a local community group which give local families in need packs of essentials plus organise donated items being passed on such as car seats and cots etc. Appealing for donations  Chairman Lesley Lock sorts clothes 'Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Rushden, Brighter Beginnings, a local community group which give local families in need packs of essentials plus organise donated items being passed on such as car seats and cots etc. Appealing for donations Chairman Lesley Lock sorts clothes 'Wednesday, 11 January 2012

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Brighter Beginnings was created 18 months ago and aims to help families in need in the north of our county by supplying them with essential baby items, clothing and essential day-to-day supplies.

Lesley Lock, one of the volunteers at the project and a mother-of-two herself, said: “I’m part of the Northamptonshire branch of the NCT and our former chairperson saw a presentation by a group in Leicestershire that supplied families in need with much needed essentials.

“She decided it was something we should have around here so four of us got together and set up Brighter Beginnings.

“We managed to secure a grant from The Big Lottery Fund but everything else depends completely on donations from local people and businesses.”

Families in need of help have to be referred to Brighter Beginnings by a midwife or health professional, who will inform the project of their requirements.

The project is always in need of supplies, particularly larger baby items such as cots, prams, high chairs, play pens, stair gates and moses baskets which they then pass on to families who desperately need them.

Lesley said: “It took us six months or so to get established amongst the health care professionals and now that they know about us, we’re getting so many more referrals.

“While this means there is obviously a need for the service, we’re starting to struggle to keep up with demand, which is heartbreaking when you hear that some babies are sleeping on the floor or in a drawer because for whatever reason, their parents can’t afford a Moses basket.”

The project helps people from a variety of different backgrounds and circumstances such as single or teen parents, victims of drug abuse or domestic violence.

And as well as passing on secondhand items, Brighter Beginnings also distribute brand new mother and baby packs which include essentials such as shampoo, moisturiser, toothbrush and toothpaste, breastpads for breastfeeding mums and towels.

Lesley said: “We also supply the baby equivalent products which also include some nappies for their relevant age.

“The packs cost about £20 each so we use the grant money to buy them.

“We just hope these little bits will take a little bit of stress out of the situation for mothers and families who have fallen on hard times.”

BRIGHTERBEGINNINGS