Vulnerable families to be supported by ‘Baby Basics’ programme

The Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth (rector), Hilary Scott (Mothers' Union Chair), Dianne Hamilton (Family Associate), Cat Ross (CEO of Baby Basics UK), and Gillian Taylor (Pastoral Care Team).
The Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth (rector), Hilary Scott (Mothers' Union Chair), Dianne Hamilton (Family Associate), Cat Ross (CEO of Baby Basics UK), and Gillian Taylor (Pastoral Care Team).

A new initiative is set to offer help and assistance to vulnerable families with new babies in Newtownabbey.

The ‘Baby Basics Ministry’ has been launched by the United Parish of Ballynure and Ballyeaston (Ballyclare), Connor Diocese.

Inspired by the impact of Baby Basics Belfast, this new scheme will be available to residents across the borough.

Baby Basics supports vulnerable families with new babies by providing them with packs filled with baby clothes, baby bedding, toys, nappies, wipes and toiletries for baby, mum and dad.

Commenting on the programme, the rector of Ballynure and Ballyeaston, the Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth, said: “There has been an incredible sense of partnership across the diocese as many parishes have supported the Baby Basics Ministry located at Connect Base, the North Belfast Centre of Mission.

“When I saw the incredible impact of Baby Basics, I sensed God prompting me to consider the similar issues within our borough.”

After discussions with Connor diocesan staff, the Centre of Mission and Baby Basics, Sheffield, the united parish this week signed a new partnership agreement to establish a Baby Basics Centre in Ballyclare and Ballynure.

Named ‘Baby Basics Antrim and Newtownabbey,’ the centre will receive referrals through midwives and health visitors from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

Initially the new ministry will pilot in the greater Ballyclare area, commencing on May 1, but it is then envisaged that with the support of the Health Trust it will be rolled out across the entire borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey.

Welcoming the development, the United Parish Family Associate and Baby Basics Co-ordinator, Dianne Hamilton said: “We are so excited to see how this new ministry will grow with God’s direction.

“We are delighted at how our Mothers’ Union branch and other volunteers have come on board to help with sorting clothes and other items and blessing new mums. In some small way we pray that we will see transformation take place in families in our area.”