Here is how you can help struggling families with Tippy Toes Baby Bank in Penwortham

Sue Wade
Sue Wade
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Helping families has always been at the core of Sue Wade’s work.

Helping families has always been at the core of Sue Wade’s work.

Sue Wade

Sue Wade

After many years of managing children’s centres, the mother-of-four wanted to go one step further in supporting low-income or vulnerable parents and set up Tippy Toes Baby Bank.

The 47-year-old collects donations of baby items, accessories and equipment, all stored in her Penwortham home, to be handed out to women in refuges or families living below the breadline.

Sue says: “Having previously managed children’s centres with Lancashire County Council, I know the financial situation of some families in the current climate.

“Many parents buy new equipment for their baby and when the child no longer needs it, they don’t know what to do with it and end up throwing it away.

“So I set up a Facebook page to see what response I would get and literally straight away I had lots of people offering prams and baby essentials.

“Through my previous contacts at the centre and the midwifery services, more people came forward.

“Tiny Teacups, in Bamber Bridge, has a donations box for items such as baby wipes, baby bottles dummies and nappies etc and I am speaking to Booths supermarket about getting a collection box installed.

“We aim to reduce plastic waste by encouraging families to donate things that can be reused.

“We are taking Moses baskets and cots but not old mattresses due to safety guidelines.

“Instead, we are fund-raising for new mattresses.

“We have donated our first mattress to a family and will hopefully buy more when they are needed.

“Hopefully we are making a difference to families that are struggling.

“It is ridiculous the amount of money you can spend on new baby equipment and accessories but by recycling unwanted items, we can help save costs.

“Anyone can come to us and we will help in whatever way we can.

“Having a new baby is stressful and expensive but hopefully we can alleviate some of the stresses.

“I have been working with Safenet which has women’s refuges in Preston and Burnley to supply items, as often mums come to them with nothing, as they have had to up and leave in the middle of the night.

“It is rewarding knowing that stuff is going to people who need it.”

Sue, who took early retirement due to ill health, mainly works on her own, with the support of her family.

She adds: “This is a family affair as my husband and sons know how much my heart is in it, so they always help in whatever way they can.

“My husband acts as a delivery driver and collects items for us and my son’s girlfriend also helps out.

“But with all this equipment coming in and as things progress, I will be looking for volunteers.

“At the moment, all the items are stored at my home, so volunteers would have to come to my house to help me.”

Sue is also looking for help with storage. If anyone has any boxes or shelving, get in touch.

n To find out more on how to help, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tippytoesbabybank; www.facebook.com/TippyToesBB/ or www.tippytoesbabybank.co.uk