These testing times are bringing new and different challenges to lots of different groups and people as they try to navigate these circumstances that are effecting everyone in different ways. But throughout all this, one positive that has come out of this is the sense of togetherness and community we are all showing. Looking out for each other, caring for our neighbours and coming together to bring everyone’s spirits up.
At the forefront of a lot of communities and groups are charities whose mission is to offer support and guidance to people who need it. However, now more than ever, these charities are facing unprecedented challenges and threats to their own future as they continue to support those who find themselves in unique circumstances because of the current pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
We listened to some of these unique stories and situations, and learnt more about the negative and sometimes dangerous effect the lockdown and COVID-19 situation is having on some people’s lives and knew we had to get involved.
Natural Baby Shower wanted to come together with 3 different charities that are all doing amazing and special work to support the most vulnerable people in the community that are being negatively affected by their personal situations as a result of the COVID-19 situation. We handpicked Women’s Aid, Shooting Star Children’s Hospice and our long time charity partner, Stripey Stork. We were touched and humbled by all 3 of these charities mission to support those in need, and were inspired to help after hearing the unique challenges they are now facing due to the current climate.
We want to help shine a light on these amazing charities, who they are and their mission, how COVID-19 has effected their operations, highlight the remarkable work they are doing and share ways in which you too can help them.
Women’s Aid is a national charity that work to end domestic abuse against women and children. They have been at the forefront of this mission for over 45 years. They aim to empower survivors and work with and for women and children by listening to their needs.
With the country now in lockdown, Women’s Aid are facing unprecedented challenges as they fight to protect those who are in lockdown with their abusers in a home that is not a safe place. The current situation increases the risk for those who are now isolated with their perpetrator and their routes to safety and support have been shut down. So much so, the first weekend the UK went into lockdown, calls to the national abuse hotline went up by 65% this weekend, according to the domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales.
The risks to these vulnerable women and children are greater than ever before. Women’s Aid need funds so they can continue to offer their vital services that support those who are vulnerable, isolated and victims of any form of abuse. They are currently aiming to raise £200,000 to keep their online services going - services that are now more crucial than ever! For more information and ways you can help too, click here. Their online services, during this time of isolation especially, offer that vital lifeline to the vulnerable and survivors of domestic abuse who feel they have no other way to reach out for support.
For those feeling unsafe and worried about the prospect of being isolated with their perpetrator, Women’s Aid have compiled a COVID-19 safety advice article to help reassure people there is support there for them and local specialist services that can help during this challenging time.
Shooting Star’s Children Hospices
Shooting Star Children's Hospices is a leading children's hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families. They support families across Surrey and London from diagnosis to end of life and throughout bereavement with a range of nursing, practical, emotional and medical care. The local charity is a lifeline to over 700 families and the demand for their care service is forever increasing. The hospices have never been more vital to children living with complex medical conditions, and their families, who desperately need support.
As a charity Shooting Star’s Children Hospice are dependent on the support and generosity of the community to keep their services running, with 90% of their income generated through fundraising. However, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Shooting Star’s Children Hospice faces real and immediate danger of not being able to carry on their amazing work due to lack of funding. They have had to cancel their annual fundraising events, plans and campaigns, along with having to close their charity shops has resulted in severe financial losses.
When we heard that they have already had to make the difficult decision to close one of their hospices and prioritise those most in need by only now providing end-of-life care and emergency respite, we knew we had to help. We want to help raise awareness of their amazing work and help to raise the much needed funds so they can continue this amazing work. If you also want to support Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, please donate to their coronavirus emergency appeal here.
Stripey Stork are an amazing volunteer run charity who are committed to supporting children and family from all sorts of backgrounds who are experiencing hardship. It all started in 2013 by a group of local mums who wanted to see the items their children no longer needed being put to good use, instead of simply ending up in the bin. They now collect new and pre-loved family items for babies, children and parents and then distribute them back into the community to families that need them. The work they do is invaluable to those families that struggle to get the basic essentials for their families.
The demand for their services has increased since the outbreak of COVID-19 as families face financial hardships and need essentials items for their families. However, due to the risk of spreading the virus, Stripey Stork have had to stop accepting physical item donations in case they carry the virus. As a result, they are now relying on financial donations more than ever in order to help supply families with the basic essentials they need for the health and safety of their little ones.
As the COVID-19 crisis escalates and has a snowball effect on more and more families, Stripey Stork need to ensure they have reserve funds and items to meet this increasing demand. If you want to help and support their mission, then please do consider making a donation here.
What are Natural Baby Shower doing to help?
All of these charities stories have touched us and inspired us to get involved in any way we can. These are tough times for everyone, but there are certain groups and individuals that it is having an extremely adverse effect on. We wanted to help raise awareness of their amazing work but also help to raise the much needed funds so they can all continue this amazing work. Throughout the next few months, as the whole country comes together and unites over the coronavirus pandemic, we want to bring a little joy and positivity to these charities by showing our support.
Donating 1% of Sales
From Friday 3rd April - Sunday 5th April we will be donating a percentage of our total sales from the weekend to all 3 charities to help towards their COVID-19 emergency appeal funds. We were proud to donate a total of £1,500 to support these amazing causes.
Over the rainbow
From 21st April – 30th June we will be donating 10% of the total sales from our “Over the rainbow” collection to all 3 charities. Rainbows have become a symbol of hope, positivity and togetherness which means so much to all of us during these tough times. So we wanted to introduce our over the rainbow charity collection which is bursting full of beautiful and bright rainbow products you will love. Over the next few months we will be donating the total sales from this rainbow collection to our three chosen charities to say thank you for the amazing work they are doing and so they can continue to help those in need. We were thrilled to be able to donate an amazing £6,000 from our Over the Rainbow collection to our charities.
On Thursday 18th June, for the second year running we got involved in Stripey Stork's #Stripes4Stripey fundraiser. The whole team wore their stripes to support this amazing cause and help raise awareness. We also wanted to help donate money to the fund to help the Stripey Stork team buy those essentials that every family needs and so many going through hardship struggle to get. We set up our upto 50% off Stripey Sale, with all of our favourite stripey products will be in one place for you to shop for less. We then donated 10% of the total sales from this collection from Thursday 18th June – Monday 22nd June to the #Stripes4Stripey fund. But, if Stripes aren’t your thing you can simply donate any spare pennies you have via this link to this amazing cause.
So far we are proud to say we have donated over £7,500 to our charity partners. We will continue to support and raise awareness for these amazing charities over the next few weeks and beyond! Their work is vital and has inspired all of us to give back. Keep an eye out for our next charity campaign to learn more way about how you can get involved and help too.