Southwark families in need receive helping hand

Help for vulnerable families at our Southwark Reuse and Recycling Centre

Southwark residents may not know it, but many are now helping vulnerable families in south London by bringing essential baby items to the Reuse and Recycling Centre. Veolia in Southwark have partnered with the Salvation Army Baby Bank in Camberwell to help boost the supply of reusable items to families in need. The Baby Bank, run by Janet Martin, supports babies and families in need by providing good quality second-hand baby clothes, cots, buggies and other essentials such as baby milk. 



Veolia staff at the Southwark Reuse and Recycling Centre off Old Kent road now collect and sort reusable baby items, brought into the centre by Southwark residents, before delivering them to the Baby Bank each month. Local families are then able to access items that they would not otherwise be able to afford. Veolia has delivered countless cots, stair gates and toys since the launch of the partnership, but there are still many families waiting for essential items such pushchairs and Moses baskets. With around a third of children in Camberwell born into low-income families, Southwark residents can make a huge positive impact on the community by bringing their unwanted goods to the recycling centre.

Project Manager Patricia Watson from Veolia said: “Veolia's collaboration with the Baby Bank is a great example of encouraging community spirit and the principles of the circular economy. Items that would have gone to waste are now being given a new lease of life. With many families donating the items back to the Baby Bank after their child has outgrown them, the goods stay in circulation for much longer, reducing waste and providing much-needed support for local children and families. With new year clear outs in full swing there has never been a better time for residents to visit the recycling centre to drop off their unwanted baby items as well as any other household and garden items.”

Major Janet Martin from the Salvation Army said: “The Camberwell Salvation Army has a particular emphasis on helping children and families by providing toddlers clubs, kids clubs and a Baby Bank. The Baby Bank seeks to offer immediate support to these children and families by providing good quality second-hand baby clothes, toys, equipment and essentials such as nappies and even baby milk. Parents are also invited to join ‘MumSpace’, a community-led social support network. Obviously, our dream is that one day there will be no need for a Baby Bank. Part of me is utterly horrified that we are having to provide essential items to local families in 2018. However, I believe the Baby Bank, has given us a glimpse of what businesses like Veolia working in partnership with communities, can achieve when they choose to come together to work for the common good.’’