Set up by local councillor, Jill Makinson-Sanders, the Louth Bundles of Joy Baby Bank opened in April 2021, a year later than planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bundles of Joy is able to provide families with prams, high chairs, cots, potties, baby baths, travel cots for free.
Rev Nick Brown offered the use of Church House at St James Church as their first home.
But just five months after opening, in September 2021, the church room was unfortunately needed back so that it could return to its pre-pandemic usage as a community room for various social and educational activities.
Fortunately, Louth Methodist Church felt the ethos fitted in comfortably with the community work carried out by the ‘Lighthouse’ scheme, which supports vulnerable and less fortunate people.Jill remembered: “That was not an easy challenge and we are really grateful to so many people for helping us through this very difficult time, not least Jo from the Generations Church and the kindly souls at the Methodist Church.
"Eventually we decided to transfer to upstairs at the Methodist Church, where families could take the lift to the first floor if they came in or went out with a pram or other bulky items.
"This fits in nicely with the church's 3-2-1 Friday playgroup, families can browse the bank and then enjoy activities downstairs followed by a cuppa at the hospitable Lighthouse group.”
Jill has paid tribute to the baby bank’s volunteers who have worked so hard over the past year and the businesses who have supported them:
"Our volunteers have been wonderful and where would the Baby Bank be without them? They have sorted, folded, stacked, ironed and provided a shoulder to cry on and a signpost for more help with a smile for everyone who comes through the doors.
"Louth businesses have been very supportive over the past 12 months and we can't thank them enough.”
The baby bank has also been able to support Afghan refugees, as well as sending a Moses basket full of clothes, nappies and more to help a young mum in Ukraine right at the start of the war.
“We will also be helping families from the war-torn country when they arrive in Lincolnshire,” Jill added, “We have also responded to calls for help from the Louth Refuge and from fostering families who suddenly have a baby arriving out of the blue!”
Bundles of Joy is open on Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm and on Fridays from 10am to midday. We have a Facebook page and anyone desperate for help outside these times can get in touch. Whether its giving us donations or asking for help, Bundles of Joy is here for the community every day, all year