A CHARITY offering free baby equipment to needy Huddersfield families has made a desperate plea for donations.
The call comes after the number of families needing help almost doubled last year, from 120 in 2010 to 195 in 2011.
Cuts in Government funding coupled with the economic crisis have left many parents unable to afford basic items for their children, according to Talkthru.
The charity, based at Revenue Chambers off St Peter’s Street, has seen the demand for cots, Moses baskets, pushchairs, baby clothing and stairgates soar in recent years.
Now, an urgent appeal for donations is being sent out, to help the service meet the growing number of referrals it receives from midwives, health visitors and housing support workers.
Sarah Landers, who runs the charity’s baby equipment drop-in session every Thursday from noon until 2pm, said: “I have children of my own and know how expensive it can be.
“I cannot imagine what it must be like to not have those essential things and not be able to get out and about.
“Sometimes it can be just one item people need or some baby clothes, but we do see people who have absolutely nothing.
“They are always very grateful and for many it is a huge relief if they are getting near the end of their pregnancy knowing they still need things.
“It is just essential.”
The charity – formerly Huddersfield Pregnancy Crisis Centre – also helps many families seeking asylum in the UK.
Sarah, a mum-of-one, added: “We have people coming to the country and they have nothing when they arrive and need the basics.
“Some families have to stay in temporary hotels and have to be out every day from 10am.
“If you have young children and no way of transporting them or carrying them around at all, it can be very tough.”
The charity – set-up in 1999 – relaunched as Talkthru last year.
It focuses on providing counselling services on issues including pregnancy options and those who have experienced pregnancy and baby loss through miscarriage, termination, stillbirth, neonatal death and adoption.
The baby equipment programme was set-up four years ago to offer second-hand items to those on little or no income.
Any items for children up to the age of two are gratefully received.
People wishing to donate can call the office on 01484 515137 or use a contact form on the website at:
Talkthru is one of the charities taking part in this year’s Examiner Charity Challenge this Sunday.
To walk or cycle in a bid to fundraise for them, simply download an entry form from our website at: