Referrals

If you work to support families or children who are vulnerable or experiencing hardship in Surrey, or the surrounding area, then you can make a referral to us on their behalf.

Please note, we do not work directly with individuals or families. If you are in need of help, please speak directly to a support agency such as your home school link worker, local family centre (find your nearest Surrey family centre by borough/district), housing support, family support, health visitor or social worker.

Our service is free of charge and there is no assessment criteria, but items will need to be collected from our offices in Reigate by the referral partner.

We are always quick to respond to the referrals we receive as we know all too well the urgency behind these requests.

Mother's Day campaign - Mum2Mum2020

Read all about this year's Mother's Day campaign and how we distributed gifts and cards to 565 local Mums in need. A fantastic response during very difficult times.

Here's how to make a referral

1 From your work email account, please email refer@stripeystork.org.uk with a list of items needed and supporting information:

  • Age/gender of each child (indicating if a different clothes size is required).
  • Any known interests for each child so we can customise the bundle accordingly.
  • The borough/postcode of the family.
  • The reason for the referral.
  • If the request is urgent/when the items are needed by.

2 Once the items are ready, you will be contacted. Our storage space is limited so we would appreciate it if items could be collected promptly. Our offices are open for referral collections term time only, Monday to Friday 9:30am-1pm. See Contact page for more details.

Please allow plenty of time to be shown how to assemble and operate the larger items, such as cots and prams. 

3 Join our Referrals Facebook Group to keep up to date with available items, referral news and how our campaigns can help the families you support.

A rule which we live by at Stripey Stork is that our recipients should feel like they are receiving a gift and not a hand out, so all of the pre-loved items we re-distribute are clean, stain-free and in good working order.

As well as our day to day operations, we are well-placed in our community to undertake specific projects as the need arises. See blog posts on our Bags4School, Easter Bags and Stork Sacks projects.

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Regular referrals so far in 2020
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Referrals since opening in 2013

Essentials for babies & children

Our warehouse is well-stocked with new and pre-loved items, so we are able to provide all of the essentials needed for babies and children. For a list of the items we stock (and don’t), please refer to the below list. There may be a waiting list for some of the larger, more popular items, such as prams.

New baby packs for expectant mums

We can also provide beautifully packaged new baby packs for the expectant Mums on your caseload. And, whenever possible, we like to include some ‘pick-me up’ items for the parents/carers - if you feel they would really benefit from one of these, please let us know.

School items

We understand that buying school items for children can be a costly overhead for parents who are already struggling, which is why we have collated this list of school items we can usually help with.
See our ‘Ready4School’ blog for more information.

Signposting of other support services

Sometimes the requests we receive go beyond the remit of our resources and capabilities, so here’s a useful list of other support services.

Individual funding requests:

  • Buttle UK offers small grants for families/children falling into specific categories (usually in care or having fled domestic abuse).
  • It’s also worth taking a look at the Turn2Us website, which provides links to all the small grant making organisations locally (searchable by postcode). 
  • The Reigate & Banstead Mayor’s Trust Fund assists the Borough’s less fortunate residents by providing support to help make a small difference in their lives. Small disbursements of usually around £50 (but up to a maximum of £750) are made to successful applicants.

Other services:

  • Local food banks such as Loveworks and St Matthew’s Church food bank, and The Trussell Trust national food banks network.
  • The District and Borough Council websites for information on financial and welfare support services available.
  • Local Citizens Advice Bureaus provide in person, online and telephone advice on issues such as debt management, benefits, housing, immigration and landlord-tenant disputes.
  • Furnistore based in Merstham, provides recycled furniture at very affordable prices. If proof of means tested benefits can be provided, then they offer a 50% discount on essential items, and are welcome to a discussion if circumstances mean essential items are still unaffordable.
  • Reuse network is a useful secondhand furniture network, where you can search by item and area.
  • If we are located too far for you to collect, please consult our other UK baby banks map to see if there is a similar service closer to you.

We feel privileged to have helped many thousands of families to get back on their feet. See for yourself the impact of some of our Stork Stories.

Turning a corner

This case study was kindly prepared by one of our referral partners. One family I came across were struggling in many ways. Mum was very low, in debt and in poor housing. She was overwhelmed by her circumstances and felt

Read this story »

If you are a family support worker, sign up to the referrals mailing list to be kept up to date with our latest news.

*** Important Notification ***

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are currently running a reduced referral service. See our COVID-19 News page for regular updates at to what this entails. Please be assured that our team are working hard to help wherever we can during these challenging times.