“I’d been looking on places like Facebook marketplace for a second hand bed, but I couldn’t have afforded one without having to use our food money. Stripey Stork has been such a lifesaver for me and Tom.”
Meet Tom*. Tom is becoming such a big boy, so much so that he’d been ready to move out of his cot for quite some time. The little adventurer he is, meant he’d been trying his luck at climbing out – which was obviously a worry for Mum. But, money has been tight since they had to move out of their family home in November. It meant they were having to ‘make do’ with what they had. This was until their support worker recently made a referral to us on their behalf for a toddler bed, with mattress and bedding. We were only too happy to help.
At Stripey Stork, we believe that every child should have a safe and clean bed to sleep in – one which is a good fit for their age and a safe haven to call their own. It certainly looks like this donation has hit the spot – just look how cosy he is, wrapped up warm with his teddies watching over him.
We hear stories all too often, of children having to sleep in cots which they’ve outgrown, on sofas in temporary accommodation, share a bed with their siblings because there isn’t the room or funds to have their own, and even babies having to sleep on makeshift cots made from bundled towels. Sleeping safely is a basic need, which is why Moses baskets, cots, cot beds and toddler beds are one of the items we re-gift the most.
All are tested to ensure they comply with UK safety standards, and are complete with an instruction manual and attachments, so they are ready to be used straightaway. Tom can vouch for this, the same day it was dropped off, he was snuggled up in his new bed that very same night, wrapped in bedding which had been provided freshly laundered. He was so looking forward to going to bed that evening, Mum told us how he kept running in his room all afternoon and lying on it with the biggest smile. “That night was the easiest I had ever put him to bed”, she told us.
For hygiene reasons, each pre-loved bed is given with a brand new, good quality mattress. We believe this is so important, so were thankful when last November we were awarded £9,086.43 in a Community Development Co-op Fund to bulk buy mattresses as and when they are needed.
“The fact that the mattress is new was a complete surprise and very reassuring. It made it feel extra special that this bed is for him. And made me feel extra safe for him.”
Mum wanted to reassure anyone else who is struggling, especially during these times, that there’s no shame in needing or asking for support.
“It can feel horrendous as a parent, feeling like you can’t provide the basic things your child needs. But the best thing you can do for your child is ask for support when you need it.”
That’s why Stripey Stork exists, because of the need in our community. If you are a family in need and live in/around the Surrey area, here’s the link to how your health/support worker can make a referral on your behalf.
It’s been lovely to hear how we’ve been able to make such a positive difference to this family’s life through giving help on such a practical level; knowing how we’ve played a helping hand in Tom progressing to his next milestone. We’d like to thank Mum for getting in touch with us to show their appreciation – it really does mean the world to us too. Sweet dreams little man!
If you’ve been supported by Stripey Stork, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve made it really easy to get in touch, through this online feedback form. Sharing your story, in as much or as little detail as you feel comfortable, means we can demonstrate to our supporters and funders the difference we are making, thus enabling us to help even more families in the future.
*Please note, name has been changed for privacy reasons.