Stork Support – Our Covid-19 Response

Since our project began 2 years ago, we have delivered nearly 5,000 parcels of Baby essentials to families in need across Manchester and Salford using a fantastic dedicated team of volunteers to deliver them to doorsteps and via our hub in Little Hulton.

We are vastly aware that the need for our service was here before Covid and is going to continue as the costs of living rises and more families head into crisis mode. We are still open for referrals for new clients who need our help and can now work with families 1:1 and in our peer support groups. We are campaigning for more support for everyone with fuel bills and the cost of food and are involved in Salford’s Healthy Start initiative. 

We have now started offering subsidised baby products through the Family food pantry at Manchester City Mission in Pendleton. Nappies & Wipes are available for just £1.20 or £2. Our plans this year are to create four hubs where families can collect items rather than receive deliveries. 

 

 

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 complete the referral form available here 

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 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. For newborns, Early Essentials, Baby Basics and Salford Baby bank all provide Moses Baskets / Clothes / other items through a referral service. 

UPDATED 21st March 2022

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 claire@visitfromthestork.co.uk (our Project officer) with the details and your phone number so we can call you back if needed. You’re welcome to copy in kim@visitfromthestork.co.uk

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 all week, but we now process referrals on a Wednesday afternoon at 1.30pm. The list of referrals sent before this time gets sent to our team of volunteers and they then deliver the items to the clients between Wednesday evening and Sunday. 

As we are a very small team, this now means referrals sent in on Thursday and Fridays do not get processed until Wednesday and it may take up to a week for the items to be delivered – as we are no longer working in ’emergency’ mode. 

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 and we will do our best to help.

We now have capacity to deliver wraparound support, where this support is not already being delivered elsewhere. 

Once we receive a referral with all the correct information, we process the information on our secure system. We send the jobs to our volunteers via Whatsapp. They go to the shops to buy the items or pick them up from the office. 

The volunteers deliver the packages to doorsteps or to our hubs, observing any restrictions/rules there may be.

We cannot give an exact time of delivery but normally it will be between Wednesday & Sunday each week. 

We are currently funded by 

The National Lottery Community Fund

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 kim@visitfromthestork.co.uk 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)