A northeast child poverty charity witnesses a significant increase in its reach, as it helps more children than ever before. The demand for their service has doubled, leading the charity to assist its 10,000th child.
Love, Amelia baby bank service was set up by Steph Capewell to help support families living in poverty and facing other challenges such as domestic abuse and homelessness.
Since its establishment in 2019, Love, Amelia has now supported more than 10,000 people and has been instrumental in addressing the needs of families in crisis. The free service supports children aged 0-16 years with vital items such as clothes, cots, prams, nappies, toiletries, toys, and books.
Steph Capewell established the charity in 2019, driven by a personal tragedy when her firstborn child, Amelia, sadly passed away shortly after birth. During her time in the hospital, Steph encountered another mother who had given birth without any essential items for her newborn and therefore donated some of Amelia’s belongings to the new family. This poignant experience inspired Steph to create the charity in memory of Amelia, and devote her efforts to supporting infants and young people, ensuring they have the necessary support for a positive start in life.
Steph, Founder and Chief Executive, expressed heartfelt sadness over the number of individuals requiring their service: “despite our ultimate goal of eradicating the necessity for Love, Amelia’s services, our charity remains dedicated in our commitment to assisting those in need. Baby banks across the country are supporting families in desperate situations, as they grapple with difficult choices to provide for their children. Resorting to measures such as diluting formula, rationing nappies, and going without proper beds. Choices no parent should ever have to make”.
This distressing reality comes as the Northeast is experiencing devastating heights of economic instability, where shockingly, over 38% of children in the region are living in poverty, making it the most deprived area across the entire UK.
Steph Capewell: “The cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone. It is not just those on the lowest income who are finding it difficult, it’s families who are in employment but just can’t make ends meet. It is not OK for any child to be living in such difficult circumstances”.
The baby bank service relies on donations of new and excellent quality, pre-loved items and equipment to ensure children, have access to essentials they need and have an equal opportunity to be happy, safe, and to thrive. Since the charity established, Love, Amelia has distributed over £1million worth of new and pre-loved items and equipment to families in greatest need. It is through the tireless efforts of the Love, Amelia team and the incredible generosity of their supporters, they have made a substantial impact on the lives of thousands of individuals across the Tyne & Wear and County Durham communities who would otherwise be without.
Steph said: “Families are making difficult changes to how they live, reducing the number of meals they have per day or cutting toes out of baby sleepsuits to make them last longer. Many children are wearing shoes that are too small or missing school as they do not have hygiene or sanitary products. This is where Love, Amelia can help to ensure children are not without the basic items they need”.
Love, Amelia acknowledges that despite this remarkable milestone, there is still much work to be done in the battle against poverty and ensuring the well-being of every child. The charity warmly invites the community to join in making a difference through the following avenues:
Donate Items: Individuals can contribute to the cause by donating items from our wishlist, which includes clothing, cots, prams, nappies, toiletries, toys, and books. Each donation makes a tangible impact on the lives of families in need.
Volunteer: Love, Amelia welcomes passionate volunteers who are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of children and families. Volunteers play an integral role in supporting the charity’s operations, offering their time, skills, and expertise.
Fundraise: By organising fundraising events and initiatives, individuals and community groups can help Love, Amelia raise the necessary funds to provide essential services to families in need. These fundraising efforts enable the charity to expand its reach, ensuring that more families receive the vital support they require.