For Kirsty Jackson, the High Peak Baby Bank was born out of necessity when all the shops were shut and her young children needed new clothes as they had outgrown theirs and it provided a way to swap clothes with other mums.
Now three years on the project has evolved and not only helps families through the cost of living crisis but also offers playgroups and baby weigh-in sessions.
Kirsty said: “I feel overwhelmed and very happy when I stop and think about how this idea of mine has grown and now helps so many people.
“Although we are now so busy there isn’t very much time for thinking as we always have something on or someone to help.”
She says with so many vital services being cut in recent years there are not the weigh-in clinics like they used to be or the play groups, so she wanted to make a space where parents could come and relax with their child and be part of the community.
“We offer a foot measuring service so parents know what size feet their little ones have and we also offer free shoes to those in need as well,” she said.
“The number of families we have helped with clothes and baby items has shot up in recent months.
“We have seen a 100 per cent increase in the number since we started three years ago as so many people are struggling to make ends meet.
“Things are tough and with winter on the way and Christmas, people are already feeling the pinch and it’s only going to get worse.
“The fact we have branched out and now help families in Leek and Stoke, and soon in Matlock, just shows how much everyone is struggling.”
To give families a little treat, High Peak Baby Bank organised an end of summer party earlier in the month.
Kirsty added: “We had a free bouncy castle, a face painter and just had some fun with families because it’s also nice to be there for them during the good times not just the hard times too.”
By Lucy Ball, Buxton Advertiser, 28 September 2023