West Sussex baby bank offers support to mothers amidst cost of living crisis

A baby bank in Cowfold has stepped in to provide essential support and care to mothers, newborns and young families across West Sussex amidst the cost of living crisis.

Ten Little Toes Baby Bank was set up by Jo Petty, who grew up in Crawley but now lives in Cowfold, and the inspiration for it came from her own experience of living in a hostel.

The baby bank is described as being similar to a food bank, which gives out bundles of essential items to parents in need.

The team of volunteers provide free (mostly pre-loved) baby, child equipment, and supplies. This includes clothing, prams, car seats, cots, highchairs and stair gates,

Crawley Community Awards at the Hawth. Pic S Robards SR2206081

The baby bank can help families who are experiencing poverty or hardship, are displaced or in temporary housing, or are struggling due to physical or mental health difficulties.

In recognition of Ten Little Toes Baby Bank hard work in the past year, Crawley Community Awards awarded Jo and the team with the ‘Charity of the year’ award.

Founder of Ten Little Toes Baby Bank Jo said: “The baby bank started in 2017. It was something I spotted on Facebook and I decided that our local area needed that type of support.

“Having been in a hostel myself, some 25 years ago and not having much support, it was my way of giving someone else a helping hand.

“The aim of the charity is to relieve poverty and support families who are struggling.

“The cost of living crisis has seen an increase in our services and Covid as well.

“One thing we are looking to do at the moment is to be able to move up to Crawley as that is where the majority of our clients are based. We are at the moment operating from my home.

“It makes sense for us to be there but we have an issue trying to find a space in Crawley.

“We have won two awards in the same week at the Crawley Community Awards and Horsham’s ‘Biggest Heart’ event.

“Just follow our Facebook page as once a month we put a wish list out of the items we need.”

You can get in touch with Ten Little Toes Baby Bank through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TenLittleToesBabyBank