Mum2Mum2021 – a much-needed virtual hug

Mum2Mum2021 blog photos (5)

“Us Mums need to stick together.”
-Supporter’s message-

…which is what Mum2Mum is all about. A gift from one Mum to another, a gesture which speaks a million words, in the year that it’s been needed more than ever. Mother’s Day, the one day officially designated to celebrating all the amazing Mums out there.

But sadly, this acknowledgement doesn’t happen for everyone. Circumstances don’t always allow; debt, a relationship breakup, Mums who’ve been on this journey alone from the beginning, those with little or no support network to help them through the bad times.

“We had identified them as mainly single Mums who would be unlikely to get a gift at all, for example from an ex/new partner or from a teenage child, but also those whose families are on a very low income and struggle to put food on the table, so in other words with no means of buying a treat.”
-Elmbridge Family Centres-

Who else was going to take care of them? Thanks to our generous community, we had this one covered! 835 Mother’s Day gift sets lovingly put together by our volunteers and distributed via our referral partners. And what a difference this is going to make. For some it may be their first Mother’s Day and one they’ll remember forever. For those with older children, let’s hope they managed to keep it a secret. Either way the message is clear – ‘you are loved and your community wants you to know this’.

This year has been disproportionately tough for many; financial worries have been heightened with many losing their job, homeschooling has pushed parents to the limit and beyond, and feelings of isolation have never been greater. Those becoming Mums for the first time have had no baby groups to attend; to throw ideas around and be given the reassurance that they are doing OK. Mum2Mum2021 is the virtual hug they all need and serves as a reminder to take some all-important time out for themselves. As one of our supported Mums wanted us to know:

“It’s my first Mother’s Day and obviously becoming a first time mum during lockdown has been so tough. I’ve been through bad health issues since giving birth and so has my son. I really appreciate the lovely gifts, I will pamper myself! I also loved the card, it made me realise that I am doing a good job, even when I don’t feel like I am! Thank you, you guys are amazing and bring so much happiness to people who need it.”

And for those Mums physically isolated, with no means for their support worker to deliver their gift bundle, we made sure that they weren’t forgotten either. With the help of Redhill Confetti we found a way to reach them too. We placed an order for 50 specially designed postal pamper boxes each containing handmade goodies and mini treats.

We also joined forces with local business The Soapy Zebra to spread the virtual love all around. Founder Kerry, who also happens to be one of our lovely volunteers, wanted to support Mum2Mum with her business venture so came up with these gorgeous, limited edition Mum2Mum soap bars.

She encouraged her customers to buy one for the special lady in their life, and she kindly donated all sales proceeds to the campaign. Customers had the option for the gift to be delivered straight to the recipient’s home and include a personal message – a contact-free solution to Mother’s Day. A big round of applause for Kerry for doing her part in ensuring that no one is forgotten on Mothering Sunday.

Speaking of local businesses, we were also contacted by The Dinner Table, which sell and deliver the most exquisite homemade brownies. They wanted to help, so in the lead up to Mother’s Day they added the option for their customers to include a £5 donation. They would then receive a thank you card stating that a gift had been bought on their behalf for a Mum in need. Their products have been tried and tested by the team and we can hand on heart say they are absolutely lush.

We have another very special acknowledgement for our friends at LexisNexis. We love their enthusiasm for always finding creative ways to get involved and this year they’ve been instrumental partners in their support for Mum2Mum. As well as funding the printing of 600 Mum2Mum cards – we include one with every gift bag – they virtually rounded up 12 members of their Charity Action Group to write an encouraging message of support in each card. A really special touch which we know is going to mean so much. Their involvement didn’t end there; they also covered the cost of the orange gift bags and contributed towards the postal pamper boxes.

The quality and range of products this year has been second to none. We’ve had many positive comments from referrals about how the gifts have gone way beyond their expectations, expressing just how valued they are going to be:

“We were so impressed by the quality of the gifts and the amount in each bag. These bags will be a great lift to our clients especially at this time.”
-Food Bank at St Matthew’s Redhill-

“That is amazing thank you, my colleagues have already given me names of those single mums who are struggling and will not get a gift for Mother’s Day.”
-Sutton Social Services-

We are extremely thankful to Beauty Banks and The Hygiene Bank (our two local branches) for their amazing bulk donations, which meant we were able to include some lovely branded products into the mix. Their hauls have been a significant contributing factor to us being able to meet demand this year, which has been the highest it’s ever been (last year we gave out 565 packs). No doubt a sign of the times, as more and more Mums which are being supported by our referrals have needed a pick-me-up.

As well as those mentioned above, we have the following to thank for their special contribution in ensuring that no Mum on our list was forgotten about this Mother’s Day:

  • Our amazing team and volunteers who did a great job in preparing the packs. A very special shout-out to Anna from AKM Hair, who played a key role in coordinating this and spent hours carefully sorting through stock to ensure every pack was special. Jacqui and Chris G were also super helpful with some necessary deliveries, always the first to offer their assistance.
  • Our referral partners for looking after the Mums on their caseloads so well, and coordinating the ordering, collecting and delivering of gifts.
  • Everyone who purchased items from our Amazon wish list (of which we had some beauties) and made a donation to our online appeal.
  • Peanut – for organising the #SantaIsAWoman boxes we received filled to the brim with toiletries. We were able to use any which arrived after Christmas in the Mum2Mum packs.
  • Tropics – for the bulk donation of hand mask jars which we were able to include in packs; an indulgent treat for tired hands.
  • Haul & Store – a Surrey fulfilment house who donated some end of line stock, some of which we were able to use in the gift bags.
  • Your Local Little Black Book – for using their platform to support Mum2Mum and help local businesses at the same time with their Mother’s Day gift initiative. 17 local businesses made a financial donation to have their products promoted on YLLBB’s platforms, of which 50% was donated to our campaign (along with the charitable donation from their Valentine’s Day initiative).
  • Nicola B – for designing our exclusive and fabulous Mother’s Day charity card. We loved last year’s timeless design so much, we were keen to use it again this year.
  • Catherine Babbage – longstanding supporter and graphic designer, who had some leftover Mother’s Day cards she had designed and wanted to put them to good use.

Finally, happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Mums out there. We hope it’s filled with love and gratitude because you are all worth it!

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