Stripey Stork is a surrey-based baby bank in Reigate and is one of our nominated charities for 2020.
I wanted to send you an update on the situation at Stripey Stork and to ask for your support.
Before this crisis started, 10% – 30% of children were living in poverty across Surrey. As soon as we started hearing about Coronavirus, we knew it was going to have a huge impact, not just on the families we help, but on others too. I’m sure we all know of someone whose work has dried up, or they have been asked to take unpaid leave as a result of the pandemic. The school closures have had a big impact on families too, and particularly on those who relied on free school meals and don’t have the money to be able to provide learning resources at home.
Stockpiling has had an impact and so as well as being difficult to pay for, essential items are also harder to source. We’re hearing stories of referral partners suggesting families use tea towels and sellotape when they can’t access nappies – it’s just heartbreaking.
For the last few weeks, our focus has been on getting any useful items that we have in the warehouse out into the community where it is needed. I’m pleased to say that our shelves are being emptied! Cars full of essential supplies have gone out – nappies and toiletries to help families experiencing financial difficulties; toys, books, puzzles and stationery to help families who are home schooling now that schools have closed. By the end of the week some of our key referral partners will have bulk supplies from us at their sites that they can draw on for the families they are supporting through this difficult time. We are also liaising with Reigate & Banstead Council to resource the community response centre they are setting up at the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill.
Our referral partners do a wonderful job and we are proud to be able to support them however we can.
Now that we have made sure that all the useful stock in our warehouse is where it is needed, our focus is changing. We are launching our Covid-19 appeal instead
Having a fund to draw on will enable us to purchase items requested by referral partners online, and have them sent directly to them, minimising social contact and making sure help gets where it is needed.
We are asking our supporters to donate the money saved from not going out to dinner/commuting/buying lunch in the café etc so that it can help others less fortunate during this difficult time.
If you’d like to read more, we have set up a webpage to share updates which can be found here: stripeystork.org.uk/covid-19-news/. On that page you’ll also find a video message from Nicola Dawes, our Founder and General Manager, on why this appeal is so important.
It feels more important than ever to support the work we do at Stripey Stork and we know we can count on you.
We would appreciate it if you would share the appeal with friends, family, colleagues and social groups who might also be looking for a way to help the community at this difficult time.
I also wanted to include a quick update to “dates for your diary”:
Stripes4Stripey is still going ahead on Thursday 18th June, we would love you to support it by posting a photo of you wearing something stripey on social media with the hashtag #Stripes4Stripey2020 and make a donation online. Please encourage others to take part too – this valuable campaign raises awareness of what we do and the funds raised on the day help us to buy new underwear to add to the packs of pre-loved items that we give out all year round.
Run Reigate is still going ahead on Sunday 20th September and we’re looking forward to it! We know that the local community will be in the mood to celebrate once this is all over and using your daily exercise time to go for a run (whilst complying with social distancing guidelines) has physical and mental health benefits. Email email@example.com to register your interest in joining #TeamStork.
As always, thank you for your support and stay safe everyone.
For all the latest from St Matthew’s please visit our new dedicated page