Stork Support – Our Covid-19 Response

Over the last 12 months, we have delivered over 3000 parcels of Baby essentials to families in need across Manchester and Salford using a fantastic dedicated team of volunteers to deliver them to doorsteps. 

We are still delivering around 40 parcels a week, and are open to referrals for new clients who need our help. We have learned that the need for our service is not just because of Covid, but because of the long history of austerity and cuts to services and welfare support in Greater Manchester. 

We have now started to plan the next steps of our service, which include partnering with food clubs to offer subsidised baby products and help families to become more financially independent, as well as creating four ‘hubs’ where families can collect items from rather than having deliveries. More information coming soon! 

Some FAQ's about our service

Due to really high demand, we have changed to a professional referral only system. If you need help, please contact any one who knows you in a professional capacity such as Health Visitor, Support worker, Social worker, Early Help team, midwife, housing team or even someone at Citizens Advice Manchester or Salford to email us on storkcovidhelp@gmail.com with details about you and what you need so we can help. 

If you don’t have a contact such as the above, please call the Manchester Emergency response hub on 0800 234 6123 or the Salford Assist Spirit of Salford Helpline on 0800 952 1000 and they will make a referral to us. 

We have been funded to provide the following items: 

  • Nappies/Pull ups sizes 0-6, 
  • Wipes
  • Baby or kids bath wash
  • Shampoo
  • Baby lotion
  • Oil
  • Baby food 6m+
  • Formula milk stage 1 or 2 only
  • Blue top milk 
  • Calpol / Teething gel

Please note we do not provide food for babies over 12 months or stage 3 formula milk. We can provide blue top milk or milk alternative as per NHS guidance, and make a referral to a foodbank if the family need food. 

 

 

Yes, but we ask for a referral to be sent to us each time from a professional, as we have limited funds and we want to make sure items get to the families most in need. 

There are situations where we will prioritise families for repeat referrals – such as those with no recourse to public funds, living in temporary accommodation or fleeing domestic violence. Please speak to us about the reasons for needing repeat deliveries. 

We have now started a wraparound service, supporting families with extra practical support or advocacy, focusing on those who need long-term support from us with the nappies. Please let us know if you’d like more info. 

Sorry, we cannot promise to guarantee any specific brands of nappies, toiletries or formula milk. This is because of cost and availability in the shops and our service is run by volunteers, who all live in different areas of Manchester and will therefore be shopping in the closest supermarket to them. We want to reduce risk to all staff and volunteers and will therefore only buy what is available. However, we know there are occasional times when certain brands of nappies cause rashes or babies need sensitive baby wipes or have specific dietary requirements etc so please talk to us if this is the case. 

In addition, we have had a lot of clients asking for specific brands of formula milk. We cannot honour brands of formula milk for the same reasons as above  but we will of course make sure the formula milk that we buy is suitable for your baby. E.g stage 1 milk for a child under 6 months and follow on or stage 2 milk for a child over 6 months. Under laws and regulations in England, Formula milk has to be the same ingredients so will cause no harm to your baby if you have to change brand. Please see this statement from First Steps Nutrition Trust via infantmilkinfo.org for more information about First Infant milks. 

Here’s some more information about the different brands of formula milk we have bought for clients; all brands contain the same ingredients but bigger brands add other non essential ingredients in to the milk. 

First milks we tend to buy due to cost and availability are 

Aldi MamiaCow & Gate & SMA little Steps 

Both SMA Little Steps and Cow & Gate are Halal certified. 

Information about other brands; 

AptamilArla OrganicHipp Organic 

If you are concerned about changing brand, please consult your Health Visitor or other healthcare professional. 

We have limited stocks of clothing available for newborn – 18 months old children but these are not guaranteed. Please ask and we will see what we can do. 

At the moment we do not have any prams or moses baskets or stair gates. If the items are for a family in urgent situations in need of these items (fleeing DV, temp accommodation, asylum seeker/refugee etc) please ask our team and we may be able to source the items for you. 

You can also visit Salford Step Into Action in Walkden who have a shop full of equipment and other items. 

UPDATED 15TH MAY 2021

Please make a referral through our form https://www.visitfromthestork.co.uk/stork-support-make-a-referral/

Please include all information requested (nappy sizes are very important!!) as without this information the referral can be delayed. 

If you are requesting extra items such as clothes or want to speak to us about a particular family, please email storkcovidhelp@gmail.com with the details and your phone number so we can call you back if needed. 

Any repeat requests need to be put through the form so we can keep track of them and the updated situations. 

We are open for referrals Monday-Thursday 9.15 am to 2pm (School time). Our job list goes out to our team of volunteers at 2.30 and the volunteers choose the deliveries they want to make. Any referrals received Monday-Thursday will aim to be delivered within 24 hours but this does depend on volunteer availability – sometimes it could take up to 72 hours. Please note we can’t guarantee urgent deliveries of items but please speak to us if the need is urgent (for example for a very vulnerable family or new mum).

Call Kim on 07402630671 for urgent requests only. 

We are a very small admin team so we do not have anyone to process referrals on Fridays. Any referrals received after 2pm on Thursday will be processed on Monday. 

Once we receive a referral with all the correct information, we go to the shops to buy the items. We will send the list of jobs for the next day to our team of volunteers. They will deliver the packages to the clients doorsteps, observing social distancing rules.

We cannot give an exact time of delivery but normally it will be 24-48 hours after we receive the referral. 

We are currently funded by 

Forever Manchester and The Charity Service. 

Yes! You can make a monetary donation to our project via our Go Fund me Page – https://www.gofundme.com/f/stork-supportbaby-essentials-for-families

or via Paypal – paypal.me/vfts 

or via BACS – please email us storkcovidhelp@gmail.com to ask for our bank details to donate via bank transfer. 

If you wish to donate items, we accept donations of nappies, toiletries and wipes on Mondays and Wednesdays at our offices. We also accept donations of equipment, toys and clothes (although currently full for clothes)