Inspired by a project in Staffordshire that assisted the parents of young children living in deprived areas, Bromley Brighter Beginnings (BBB) came into being in October 2012 and, in the same month, had their first referral. They provided a woman, living in a refuge in Bromley, with clothes for her baby and since then they have helped hundreds of families.
BBB provides second hand items that have been donated by a network of mums and dads and also provides “newborn packs”. Requests for help do not come directly from individuals but via health professionals, refuge officers and parenting practitioners through a referral system.
“You truly do not understand how genuinely grateful we are….From the bottom of our hearts thank you all so very much”
The aims of BBB are simple:
- to provide new and expectant mums in dire financial need with essential items (such as cots, buggies, clothes, nappies and other toiletries) to ensure they and their children have what they need,
- to thereby reduce stress, anxiety and depression, which will in turn help their children,
- to facilitate the recycling of baby- and child-related items that the original owners no longer use.
Since their beginnings in October 2012 BBB have helped around 450 families in the London Borough of Bromley and have provided toys and household items for women and children either living in or moving on from a refuge. During that time BBB has built up a solid network of contacts with professionals so that they can effectively reach the people that need their help.
With their team of volunteers they have set up a website, a Facebook group (please join if you want to help!), a Twitter account and they also produce and distribute leaflets to promote their work to people who wouldn’t necessarily see it online.
Emma Martin, the chair of BBB, was awarded the NCT Parents’ Champion of the Year award in October 2013 for her work in setting up Bromley Brighter Beginnings.