Barnet mums rally together to support families in need
The Preloved Project is a community initiative based in High Barnet that helps vulnerable families in financial hardship by providing care packages of essential items plus toys and books to spread a little fun and joy. We are two local, and now extremely busy, mums and we conceived the project in October 2020.
When a local charity sent out an urgent appeal for a struggling family we shared the request with our group of friends. The response was overwhelming. Word spread and, very quickly, people had bags and bags ready to donate. We collected more than what the family needed and the charity politely declined our offer because they now had too much.
We found ourselves with a surplus of items making us very conscious that most charities do not have the necessary storage, charity shops were overflowing and here we were, surrounded by mums with quickly growing kids who were fortunate to have plenty of clothes, warm coats and lots of lovely toys.
This network of women creates a strong foundation of support as well as generating a supply of preloved but well cared for items. Everyone wanted to pass on these things to someone who really needs them.
So, we found a central storage hub where people could donate items allowing us to respond to appeals for help immediately as and when needed and the Preloved Project was born.
We operate via referral from locally established organisations such as Home-Start Barnet, Baby Basics – Barnet, Renew Barnet and Barnet Children’s Family Services and Domestic Violence teams to reach vulnerable families and people in need.
There is no charge for any of our services. We provide care packages of warm coats, clothes, shoes, baby equipment, books and toys. Donations are mostly second-hand items that are thoroughly cleaned and refreshed to look their best. We've even used fabric softener to restore Barbie Doll hairdos!
What we do is unique because we have stock readily available for immediate response. In cases where someone has fled a dangerous or abusive situation with nothing, we can provide a quick turnaround to ensure they are not struggling without.
Many families are in precarious positions because of Covid-19. We are aware that even when things felt a bit tough over the last year in lockdown we both had a warm place to live, enough food, plenty of toys and books to entertain our kids. The thought that many families were barely coping and struggling to make ends meet was our motivation to do what we do.
To find out more about the Preloved Project