Call out for babies and boobs

We are excited to be working alongside a committee of Newham, BME, Migrant or marginalised mums, Alternatives and the NCT to co-create a suite of support services around childbirth and parenthood.

In our initial workshops, our mums told us they felt let-down by a lack of early, as-and-when needed help. It meant they were not able to establish breastfeeding.

For many mums, feeling you’ve not had the support you need to breastfeed can trigger difficult emotions which are hard to come to terms with. For some of our mums who are living below the breadline, the expense of formula is potentially financially devastating.

So we are committed to giving as much support to breastfeeding as possible.

This is where you guys come in. We usually demonstrate with whatever is to hand – a toy octupus, miming and gesticulating at our own, or mums’ boobs – which you will probably agree is not the best thing!

So we were thinking it would be nice to have some woolly boobs and babies !

Can you knit or crochet us a boob – or a baby to help with our classes?

There are many great patterns online. We would love all sizes and skin tones. Please feel free to:

  1. knit a boob or a baby or two, make sure it is safe and easily washed.
  2. send it to
    The Magpie Project, knitting appeal.
    c/o Forest Lane Lodge,
    Forest Lane Park,
    Magpie Close
    E7 9DE
  3. Or get in touch with Jules to discuss what you will be knitting.
  4. If you don’t knit, buy us a doll – these are the best.
  5. If you want to support our work, donate money and we promise we will put it straight to work helping mums and minis.

COVID-19: how to help

We love you guys, and we hear “how can I help” so often, but every time we do it makes our hearts sing.

Here are five simple things you can do – from home, from abroad, in person, at a distance.

You choose it is all needed:

1. Donate items

We are co-ordinating our response with The Renewal Programme  Bonny Downs Community AssociationWest Silvertown Foundation and Alternatives Trust.

Emerging needs include:

  • Dried food,
  • Nappies
  • Formula
  • computer tablets
  • Data/wifi connections
  • Toys and books for children.

and we will deliver to our mums and minis who are in need and self-isolating.

  • EAST HAM HUB: The Well Community Centre, 49 Vicarage Lane, E6 6DQ on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am – 2 pm

  • FOREST GATE HUB: Forest Lane Lodge, E7 9DE on Mondays and Wednesdays 10 am – 2 pm

  • MANOR PARK HUB: 395 High Street North, E12 6PG on Tuesdays and Fridays 10 am – 2 pm

  • PLAISTOW HUB: Forrest House, E13 8AB, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am – 3pm

  • WEST SILVERTOWN HUB: Britannia Village Hall, E16 1TU on Mondays and Thursdays 11am – 3pm

2. Donate time

We are  working up our virtual advocacy, peer support, playgroups and chats.

We are offering Zoom Parties and WhatApp hangouts to our mums and minis to try to keep spirits high during this difficult time.

Already we have dancers, musicians, mindfulness coaches creating videos that we can stream to mums and minis. This keeps us all happy and entertained. If you have a skill that you would like to share with our mums during their lock down. Why not get in touch, make a video, and we will watch it together.

Origami, knitting, papier mache, whatever it is you do, lets do it together.

3. Add your voice

We are desperate that our mums are not forgotten during this time.

So if you can write to your MP, your councillor, your mayor, the newspaper, whomever and raise the issue of those without Recourse to Public Funds we would be very grateful.

Read about the issue here:

Read our mums’ accounts here.

Then please tell everyone you know, this is not fair, it must not stand, we can change it together.

4. Donate money 

We can always use more funding to get to the families that others are not reaching. If you can do nothing else, then please consider donating to support our efforts.

Donate here

5. Stay safe, stay well, we will get through this together as a community – see you on the other side.

CCB: Campaign for Clean Bums: Newham Nappy Appeal

Magpie Project

There are babies in Newham who have to go too long between nappy changes because their mums cannot afford enough nappies to keep them comfortable.

There are mums in Newham who try to ‘rinse out’ or “scrape off” disposable nappies in order to re-use them as they simply don’t have the money to buy new ones.

Early on in our project we decided to give nappies and wipes to mums and minis who are destitute.

We decided this was a basic human right – to be clean dry and comfortable, and –  if nobody else was going to ensure it –  we would try.

Fast-forward and year and we are regularly seeing 90 babies in any given week. That is a lot of nappies and a bill of more than £1,000 a month for us.

So we are faced with a choice. Stop giving the nappies and face the issues again or – appeal for new sources of income to support our nappy donations.

This is where you come in……

Could you ‘sponsor a bum’ (or two) through regular giving each month.

It cost £15 a month to keep a baby or toddler in nappies and wipes. Clean, comfortable, not red and sore.

If you are game, please fill set up a standing order to

The Magpie Project

Sort Code : 40 06 30

Account: 03837424

If you want to code your standing order Nappies or similar then we will know to spend it on clean bums only.

Question: Why don’t mums use re-usable nappies?

Unfortunately we are where we are.

Mums don’t have free access to laundry facilities so the logistics of storing dirty nappies and washing them is just too much for their already difficult lives.

We know in a perfect world we would do away with disposables, but in this case we have decided to help in the only way we see we can,  in this imperfect world.

Question: Surely everyone can afford nappies?

Unfortunately 77% of our mums have no recourse to public funds that means that the basic safety net of benefits is not available to them.

Some of our mums have zero income while we work to get them support at all, many survive on £66 a week to cover everything – food, formula, travel, phone, electricity etc. That is not even starting to think about toiletries, sanitary protection, or expenses such as shoes and school uniform for older siblings.

Please help if you can – sponsor a bum and sleep tight in the knowledge that a baby in our community is clean and comfortable because of you.

Read mums’ stories

Donate online

Claire Nigel and Raphe’s fundraising story

Celebrating a special boy, by sharing the love

 
Unknown-11
 
“We used our son’s Welcoming Party to raise funds and spread awareness of the Magpie Project. I wanted to use this joyous occasion –  celebrating the life of a very loved child – to remember that love is something deserved by every child. 
 
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we are incredibly lucky to have that strong foundation on which we can build and grow as parents. Through the generosity and support of family and friends, we are able to give our son, not only practical things needed for his development, but also our time and attention – free from worry, we are able to be present and loving with him and show him that the world wants him in it. 
 
The Magpie Project is a fantastic charity that strives to ensure that children and parents living in precarious or unstable circumstances do not miss out on this. Parents are given a stress-free environment in which they can fully give their time to their children and laugh and play, or alternatively know that their children are being looked after by dedicated play workers while they talk with local professional in order to improve their circumstances.
 
This charity embodies everything that we want for our son and what we would like to help the Magpie Project to contribute towards the lives of other children. We look forward to doing further fundraising for this wonderful organisation!”