family support worker

Need our service from further afield?

If you are a family support worker and 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. Stripey Stork 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 or family support worker to make a referral on your behalf. For example, your local family centre  can refer you (find your nearest Surrey family centre by borough/district).

Our service is free of charge and there is no assessment criteria, however, items will need to be collected from our offices in Reigate by the referral partner. Most importantly, 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 You should use the online form here to make your referral request.  You will need the following 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 You will receive a confirmation email once you have booked a collection slot.  We  will secondly, 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. Lastly, please allow plenty of time to be shown how to assemble and operate the larger items, such as cots and prams.

3 Family support workers can join our Referrals mailing list and Referrals Facebook group to keep up-to-date with available items, referral news and, additionally, 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. Therefore 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 specifically well-placed in our community to undertake special 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. Whenever possible, we also 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. This is why we have collated this list of school items we can usually help with.
See our ‘Ready4School’ blog for more information.
family support worker

Christmas campaign - Santa Stork

Read all about last year's Christmas campaign and how we distributed a total of 7,522 new gifts, giving 3,179 families the Christmas they deserve. It was an amazing community effort.

A Gift for Mum

Mother's Day campaign - A Gift For Mum

Read all our 2022 Mother's Day campaign and how we distributed gifts and cards to 596 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.
  • The Surrey Crisis Fund is a discretionary fund run by Surrey County Council and provides financial help to Surrey residents who have nowhere else to turn during an emergency or following a disaster. It also can provide assistance to set up a home in the community where no other funds or resources are available. No specific deadlines.  Apply 9-5pm Monday to Thursday.

  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.  They are also 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.

A proud Mum

“You guys have supplied my Son, not only enough clothes to see him through but with happiness too. When his face lit up on seeing he had clothes that fitted him, it was just priceless!”   A proud Mum. One who

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.