It’s been a significant week at Stripey Stork as we received notification that we’re officially registered as a charity in England and Wales.
1161613 is the magic number!
This change in status doesn’t change what we do day-to-day – we’ve been operating with a small charity constitution and set our processes up to make this transition straightforward – but it will create a lot of opportunities to us in terms of funding and support.
Achieving this milestone caused me to reflect on our 18 month journey and all that has gone into getting us to the stage where we have supported over 700 families with items worth nearly £500,000. Of course it wouldn’t be possible without the funding we receive, those who provide valuable practical and pro bono support, those who make referrals to us, and of course those who donate items and volunteer their time.
It is the acts of kindness that keep Stripey Stork thriving in this community – actions and events that reassure me that what we are doing is worthwhile and valuable.
Thank you to all who make it happen.
Thank you to…
- the local charity who also supported us and offered us that first place to store and sort our items; we’ll always be grateful for that first vote of confidence.
- the wonderful team in Australia who we discovered were already making a massive difference in their community. Knowing that what we had planned could work was so encouraging, and then having them share process and best practices got us up and running so much quicker.
- the Grandma who came to a Donation Station with a big bag of clothes. She took me to one side and explained how valuable a service likes ours would have been when she was raising her children alone and going without meals to keep the family afloat “I’ll be back here donating whenever I can”.
- the health professional who now works in another area but still makes referrals and travels to collect items on her day off “I was offered a promotion in another area of East Surrey but one of my first thoughts was ‘I can only take the job if I can still access support from Stripey Stork!’”
- the Mum who arrived at a Donation Station with a huge box of packets of nappies from a cash and carry “I save up to buy these items in bulk but when I was buying them today all I could think about were the mums you help, and so I thought I’d pop in and share some on my way home”.
- the family who passed on some brand new baby equipment via their church. Sadly, we later learned that their baby was stillborn. Knowing their items were rehomed with a young Mum fleeing abuse and moving to a new area won’t offer them any comfort in the short term, but those items made a massive difference to another family.
- the Mum who returned a bag of clothing she’d received from us when they no longer fitted her baby. She had taken great care to clean, iron and fold all the items in the bag as she wanted the next recipient to feel like she did when she first received it.
- the elderly couple who turned up at a Donation Station with a lovely cot that must have been 40 years old. You could see from its condition, and even the care with which they were carrying it, that it had been a big part of their family and used by numerous children and grandchildren. Alas it wouldn’t meet the modern safety standards for us to rehome it, but we look forward to having bigger premises where it will take pride of place storing small soft toys before they are rehomed
- the two people who have set up a monthly direct debit and donate money to us. These are individuals who have followed our journey from the start and believe in what we are doing – to have this support makes such a difference.
- the busy health professional who gives up time on a weekend and comes along to most of our Donation Stations often bringing her children and friends too; someone who gives so much to the community.
- the housing officer who spent so long checking through a bag of items we’d packed as she knew the Mum she was supporting was (in her words) “very fussy and particular”. Because that mum has high standards, and the professional supporting her has high standards, is exactly why we have high standards for the items we sort and pass on (I’m pleased to say that the bag passed the test!).
- the health professional who got back in contact with some feedback about a family we’d been able to support not long after we started: “When I next visited I noticed that although the family had no storage that the clothing had been carefully folded and that several items had been washed and were hanging up to dry. Most importantly in a cold house the baby was warm and well-wrapped. A year later and there has been a significant change in this family’s circumstances. Mum decided to leave the abusive relationship she was in, has started a part time job and is paying off her debts. Above all she smiles when I visit and her baby is happy and sociable. She lives in simple accommodation which she has made homely, and her baby is meeting all developmental milestones.”
Have a great weekend everyone x