Working Together to make a Difference
Working Together to make a Difference
After Channel 4's Dispatches programme – Born on the Breadline – revealed that tens of thousands of families in the UK rely on handouts to keep their children clothed, warm and clean, we wanted to help out as much as we could.
“We’ve all heard of Food Banks, but not Baby Banks where people are having to go for clothes and equipment. If we can help, it’s an opportunity for us to get our suits to people who need them,” said Kate Dawson, who started The All-in-One Company in Ashington in Northumberland 10 years ago after she struggled to find a sleep suit that kept her daughter Lilly, warm at night.
Although there are none here in the North East, the number of Baby Banks in the UK has grown to more than 100, so we began by donating our first batch of Onesies to Stripey Stork - a Baby Bank based in Surrey.
“It is amazing how many people are having to make decisions such as I do I buy a new coat for the children or do I buy nappies for the baby. That is why Stripey Stork supports children up to the age of 16, not just babies, and why the range of sizes supplied by The All-in-One Company is so welcome. They’re just the ideal thing for teenagers. People are struggling to keep warm at this time of the year, so to be able to give them something that’s so nicely made and of such high quality – as well as being fun and practical – is just brilliant. It will be our honour to pass them on.”
Nicola - Stripey Stork founder.
“At this time of year we hear so often about families who are struggling to keep their families warm and pay for heating bills. Warm clothes and blankets are popular requests and these high quality, snuggly onesies will be such a treat to receive.”
Kate Dawson, of The All-in-One Company, said: “They’re not a throwaway garment. We’ve been going 10 years and people who bought from us right at the beginning say they wash and wear really well. So hopefully they will keep people warm for a long time to come.”
Reigate and Banstead Women's Aid
Last week, Stripey Stork was approached by a Women's Refuge Centre who were sent a batch of our snuggly blankets to help a family in need.
Baby Bank Hartlepool
We were also contacted by a Baby Bank in Hartlepool after they saw a post on Stripey Stork's Facebook page.
"The All-In-One Company has been so kind to donate some of their lovely, snuggly onesies to Hartlepool Baby Bank. They've been super popular, and thanks to them there are some very cute and cosy kids in the area!"
Making Winter Warmer for those Without
We've also been donating blankets to "Making Winter Warmer for those Without".
‘Making Winter Warmer for those Without’ was a project set up in 2013 to collect donations to create rucksacks which would be handed out to the homeless people in the North East. These items include things like warm jumpers, hats, gloves, tins of soup, sleeping bags, flasks, toiletries, anything that would benefit someone who is sleeping rough on our streets.
It all started from a basic idea, but thanks to the power of social media, and the kind hearts of their followers, ‘Making Winter Warmer’ has become a community of caring souls who want to help others. The charity has 12 volunteers including a GP and an employee from a specialist supported housing service.
The rucksacks help the people who receive them not only stay alive in the cold, but also to stay positive in the knowledge that lots of people care about them. ‘Making Winter Warmer’ have now got to a point where they can help not just the homeless people, but other deprived communities. They have given boxes of womens/childrens clothing and toys to Womens refuge, like minded charities and groups and even Stranded Seamen on the Tyne!
We first donated blankets to Ross and his team back in 2015 when he had spotted us in the paper when an article of our offcut fabrics was published. Ross asked if we could in any way help with ‘Making Winter Warmer’ and of course, we couldn’t say no!
The blankets are then handed out to those sleeping rough. David Hall, who helps run the charity, said it sees between 85 and 100 people every Friday night.
Despite its name, Making Winter Warmer operates 52 weeks a year and is one of a number of organisations helping the city’s rough sleepers.
“It’s very sad that in 2019 charities like Making Winter Warmer have to step in – but thank goodness they do,” said Kate.
Blankets are needed throughout the year, said David, as rough sleepers have no means of drying them when they get wet.
“We’re so grateful to Kate and The All-in-One Company and all the other people who help,” he said. “It’s a shame we have to do what we do but unfortunately people depend on us.
If we help one person it’s worth doing. It’s as simple as that.”
We feel honoured to be able to help out with such an amazing cause. We hope our blankets and Onesies help those in need. We are urging other Baby Banks, charities and organisations to get in touch by e-mailing email@example.com or ringing 01670 522478.