Referrals

Need our service from further afield?

If we are too away for you to collect from Reigate, please get in touch as we partner with other likeminded organisations across Surrey and may be able to use our distribution network to get the items closer to you.

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

We supply a mixture of new/good condition pre-loved baby/children’s items – clothing, toys, equipment, toiletries – from birth up to age 16.
We operate on a referrals only basis, which means families can’t self-refer. We accept referrals from a wide range of organisations – social workers, health visitors, family centres, food banks, women’s refuges, teachers and nurses. If you are a family in need of help, please ask a support agency to make a referral on your behalf, such as your local family centre (find your nearest Surrey family centre by borough/district).

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.

Here's how to make a referral

1 From your work email account, please email [email protected] 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 we have responded to let you know that the items are in stock, we will arrange a date/time for you to collect from our Reigate warehouse (term time only, between Monday to Thursday, 9:30am-1:30pm). Our storage space is limited so we appreciate arranging prompt collections. 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 mailing list and 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.

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.

Christmas campaign - Santa Stork

Read all about last year's Christmas campaign and how we distributed a total of 5,168 new gifts, giving 2,116 families the Christmas they deserve. It was an amazing community effort.

Mother's Day campaign - Mum2Mum

Read all our 2021 Mother's Day campaign and how we distributed gifts and cards to 835 local Mums in need. A fantastic response during very difficult times.

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.

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