THE PRINCESS OF WALES WILL VISIT SEBBY’S CORNER TO KICKSTART INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT FAMILIES
Friday 24th November 2023
The Princess of Wales will visit Sebby’s Corner in Barnet on Friday 24th November to kickstart an initiative from the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood to provide support to families with young children in the run up to Christmas.
Sebby’s Corner was formed in January 2021 and provides items to families in need across Barnet, Hertfordshire and London. Families are referred by a large network of referral partners which includes professionals such as midwives, health visitors and teachers. Since opening, Sebby’s Corner has supported over 5,000 families and has seen year on year increase in referrals.
Powered by local communities, baby banks provide a vital lifeline for families in all sorts of challenging circumstances. The visit comes as the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood published an “Issues Index”, which found that a third of the general public cite financial pressures as the biggest issue facing parents and carers in 2023. During her visit, the Princess will hear about the crucial work baby banks do across the UK to get essential items to families, including clothing, nappies, toiletries and baby equipment.
Whilst at Sebby’s Corner, the Princess will meet a mother who has been supported by the charity as well as the referral partner who made the referral. Her Royal Highness will join volunteers and Shaping Us champion, Giovanna Fletcher, in putting the final touches to Sebby’s annual Christmas Grotto. The Christmas Grotto provides a space where families who are struggling the chance to choose gifts for their children. Finally, the Princess will join a conversation with representatives from Baby Banks from across the UK to discuss the increasing demand on their services.
There are more than 200 baby banks around the country, all of which are currently seeing rising demand for their services. The Centre for Early Childhood will be encouraging members of the public to donate funds, products and pre-loved items, or to volunteer their time, to support their local baby banks throughout December. Several Shaping Us Champions will also be adding their voice to the drive.
As highlighted in the Shaping Us campaign which the Princess launched in January, our relationships, experiences, and surroundings in our earliest years lay the foundations that shape the rest of our lives. Organisations like Baby Banks can help relieve some of the stresses and strains they face and in turn give parents and carers the capacity to provide the nurturing care which is so important to babies and very young children. Supporting parents and carers, who are doing their best to provide for their families in incredibly challenging circumstances, is essential and can have a life-changing impact.
Baby banks representatives joining the Princess of Wales are members of the newly forming national Baby Bank Alliance, led by Save the Children, Little Village, Purposeful Ventures and Baby Bank Network Bristol. The alliance is forming so baby banks can come together as one voice and boost the impact of the incredible work they are doing to support families across the country.
Her Royal Highness has been a long-standing supporter of baby banks having visited many across the country. In the summer of 2020, the Princess also brought together 19 British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide, operated by Little Village, Baby Basics and AberNecessities.