Bundles of Joy By Claire Raper
I founded ‘Bundles of Joy’ in November 2017 after recognising a shortage in the local community for families in need. The Mission of the charity is as below, supporting families across Hull and the East Riding and Yorkshire. Poverty in families and children can have an adverse effect on the well-being of many. I wanted to try and help society by providing material support for those in need whilst demonstrating that people do care about others.
The purpose of Bundles of Joy is to relieve poverty and support disadvantaged families through providing clothes, toys, prams, cots, other baby equipment, toiletries and nappies. We are achieving this through donations from the generosity of people throughout our community of Hull and the East Riding and passing them on to families recognised as in need. Such support helps relieve poverty at a time, which for many can be a very stressful and financially difficult time of life. As poverty is one of the key indicators of poor outcomes for children, we feel this support goes a long way to making the start in life much easier for many.
By supporting families, parents, children and communities Bundles of Joy is building something new, it is reaching out and committing to community partnership. Bundles of Joy as a charity sees itself as a pathway for children maximising their full potential. We like to think this is achievable by considering the prevention of mental health within parents. A simple bundle of baby equipment or clothes, toys or a pram could make such a huge difference to any parents, lifting their self-belief and self-respect. Issues with mental health can be nurtured at home. So by Bundles of Joy supporting families and communities we are helping a parent’s mental state and mind. This in turn has a knock on effect of happy parents raising happy children. Healthy well-adjusted children paves the way for a better future. If mental health isn’t tackled effectively there will be both a huge financial and emotional issue within the community. Individuals, communities and families will suffer costing the NHS millions of pounds. As a charity we would like to think we can play a positive part in tackling this issue.
I set up the charity myself in November 2017 after seeing the need locally, and then went on to build a Trustee team of other local parents who have knowledge, skills and connections that are relevant to the charity. I set up a Facebook page and received a huge response very quickly from local people wanting to donate items, which gave the charity a huge kickstart. I have since developed marketing materials, referral forms, policies, procedures, a website, and started various fund raising activities.
As well as a 3 day pop up shop supported by a local shopping centre, a team of 8 of us did a Skydive on the 14th May, it was scary but amazing all at the same time. Both of these events combined raised nearly £5,000. We are holding an evening dinner dance in September too and also holding a table top event in October, all in order to raise the profile of the charity and raise money.
I have developed very strong links with local agencies such as the Community Midwifery team, Health Visitors, the intense support programme of the Family Nurse Partnership, Doorstep (Housing), children’s centres, social care, Home Start, Citizens Advice Bureau and other charities all who have now begun to regularly refer families in need in to the charity.
The fabulous latest news is that we have now got full charity status which in turn will allow the charity to reach out further and access more funding pots. This means we can help make a difference to more families.