Frequently asked questions 

  What is Baby Stuff Braintree? It is a baby bank which provides local families in need with baby clothes, bedding and other essential items for babies and children up to 5 yrs.

How much does it cost? Nothing. All our stock is donated and the service is run by volunteers.

 Where is it? We are based at Carousel Family Hub, Chapel Hill, Braintree, CM7 3QZ.

When are the sessions run? We are open on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month from 9.30 – 11.30am.

Can families just turn up for the session? Yes, families are welcome to come along to a session and select the items they need.

Can professionals request items for families they are working with? Yes. If you are supporting a family who you think would benefit you can either signpost them to our sessions or request items directly using the form on the webpage; babystuffbraintree.blogspot.com/

Do you always have everything requested? We generally have a range of clothes/bedding and often pushchairs and Moses baskets. However we are solely reliant on donations so we cannot guarantee we will have specific items.

  Do parents have to come and collect items? As we are run by volunteers we are unable to deliver items. If you are being supported by a Health Visitor or other health professional, they may be able to collect items and deliver them to you. Please speak to your Health Visitor about this.

 How can I donate items? Donations of good quality, clean items are always gratefully received. Please drop them off at Carousel Family Hub between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday – Friday. Just let the office know they are donations for us and they will show you where to leave them. Please ensure clothes have been recently washed.

 What items do you accept? We are very grateful for all pre-loved and gently used donations. Without these it wouldn’t be possible to run Baby Stuff Braintree.

Please see our Facebook page for a list of current ‘wants’.

• We currently only accept items for children up to the age of 5 years.
• Can we please ask that all textile items (clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, sheets etc.) be recently washed and stain free.
• If you wish to donate prams, pushchairs, high chairs and cots can you please read the additional mandatory safety requirements. We do have limited space so if you wish to donate one of these please contact us by filling in the “donate stuff” form on our website; babystuffbraintree.blogspot.com/

Items we can accept
• Clothes 0-5 years ( please see current wish list )
• Sterilisers (non-electrical) ideally with instructions
• Changing bags
• Disposable nappies ( part packs ok )
• Bottles ( no used teats )
• Towels , new or in good condition • New teats in sealed packs
• Cots ( please see safety guidelines- no mattresses please) • Nursing pads ( part packs ok )
• Blankets , grobags , cot/crib sheets
• High chair -folding or Ikea style ( please see safety guidelines )
• Bibs
• Prams & pushchairs ( please see safety guidelines ) Ideally with instructions
• Muslin Squares • Slings with ergonomic support
• Moses baskets and stands ( no mattresses please )

Safety Guidelines

If you are planning on donating one of the following items please read these safety guidelines. Baby Stuff Braintree take safety very seriously and would only want to pass on something in full safe
working order.

Prams and Pushchairs 
• In excellent working order and stable when moving
• A five-point baby harness • Brakes that work properly
• Wheels are secure and not too worn
• No sharp points or parts to trap fingers
• Cleanliness - make sure the fabric is clean and not worn out
• Include original manual if possible , can be downloaded from the internet
• ‘Carelessness causes fire’ label must be present
• Include rain cover if possible

All prams and pushchairs, both new and used, must comply with British Standard 7409:1996 or BS EN 1888:2003 (an equivalent European standard). A label indicating compliance should be found on the frame or seating cover of the pram/pushchair.

• Must have a safety harness
• Should be sturdy with a stable base
• No sharp edges or parts that could trap fingers or cause injury
• Must be clean and in good condition
• Manual if possible
• If highchair has castors (small wheels) does the front or back have brake?

• No used mattresses • No sharp edges • Slats and rails are complete and in good condition
• Please clean before donating
• Manual if possible
• Include all fixtures and fittings

 What items don’t you accept?

 Items we can’t accept 

• Nappy bins
• Car seats
• Cloth nappies/liners
• Maternity clothes
 • Door bouncers
• Pregnancy & parenting books
• Baby chairs / Bumbos
• Cot bumpers, duvets, quilts & pillows
• Jumperoos /baby walkers • Nursery decorations - bunting/pictures/cushions
• Electrical items (sterilisers / baby monitors etc.)

Can I bring things back when I’ve finished with them?
Yes please, providing they are still in good condition.

Do you need more volunteers?
YES. We would not be able to operate without our volunteers! We are always on the lookout for enthusiastic people to help us.

What roles are there for volunteers?
Examples include: Assisting parents and carers at our Thursday sessions, serving tea and biscuits, sorting clothes that have been donated, designing promotional material, putting up posters in local shops, applying for grants, sewing Morsbags, organising fundraising events and other rewarding jobs.

How do I become a volunteer?
By filling in the volunteer form on our website; babystuffbraintree.blogspot.com/ We will contact you once you have submitted the form, discuss your application with you and ask you to contact Ms. Pat Borg. You need to contact Mrs. Pat Borg because all of our volunteers go through the Barnardo's screening and induction programme which she runs. (Barnardo's also have their own FAQ page for potential volunteers on their website: Barnardo's Volunteering FAQs.
Once you have volunteered via our website, you will be on our volunteer list and you will receive regular updates about Baby Stuff Braintree.

How can I keep informed about what’s happening at Baby Stuff Braintree? You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates