Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Growkids provides good quality, new or second-hand clothing and equipment for babies and children (up to 12 years), completely free of charge. Our service is available to anyone, regardless of income, faith or background. People can drop in when we are open (on Wednesdays at present) and be welcomed with a smile, hot drink, a friendly chat and then the opportunity to browse the clothing and equipment to choose the things they are in particular need of.

What do we need £5,000 for?
1) Racking - Having collected generous donations over the last 12 months of starting Growkids, we need to equip the rooms with racking to ensure the stock is organised (approx. 70 to 80 large plastic boxes of seasonal clothing organised by age and gender) to make sure it can be safely and easily accessed by the team of 6 volunteers. The photos depict one of the rooms, whilst another room at the venue is ready to be racked to improve access and storage (~£2000 for racking and fitting)

2) Advertising - We have designed a leaflet that we need to print and distribute across the city through existing groups and organisations (health visitors, social workers, play groups and sure start centres etc.) to advertise Growkids as a service for those in need of support and also to encourage new donations of high quality clothing and equipment to maintain an adequate supply. (~£300-£500)
3) Lunch - A big part of our vision is to build a sense of community and relationship with people who come to Growkids and we believe food is a great way to do this. We want to offer a simple, healthy free lunch to anyone who comes to access the service. We will use part of the grant if successful to develop and equip the small kitchen area at the venue in trowse (See the pictures -we need an oven, hob, pans and a blender (for soup)) as well as funding foodthe fresh produce over the coming year with any money that is left. (~£1500 incl. fitting)

4) Washer/dryer - some donations need to be washed and dried and we want to be able to do this at the same venue to reduce the need for volunteers to take them home and bring them back. (~£400)
5) New equipment - items such as underwear, moses basket/cot mattresses and car seats for example, need to be new rather than second-hand and we want to be able to support families in need of these items. (~£500)

What difference does it make?
The original Growbaby started in Kingston, London in 2003 and having been inspired by the impact they have made in their community we dreamed of doing something similar in Norwich to help support those in need in our city and beyond. We want to empower and support people, whether it is a 'one off' need or a longer term need for support, our aim is to be there, regardless of background, faith or employment status. We've started small intentionally as we've built the team of volunteers, a supply of donations and a system to sort and store it all, but already we have been able to meet the needs of around 30 families and we're building our links with other support services in the city in preparation for the next phase to reach more people which this funding will support.
Social isolation and loneliness is a significant issue for many parents and carers with young children and Growkids provides a safe and welcoming environment for people to come and meet some friendly people and develop friendships. Peoples feedback to date has been very positive, not only of being able to fulfill their practical needs (people dont quite believe there isn't a charge), but also of the friendliness and welcome available to all.
We also advertise a range of other playgroups, events and activities Gateway vineyard church run across the city that people are always welcome to come to. There are also opportunities for people to develop their confidence, skills and experience by volunteering if they want to, though there is no expectation or requirement, everything at Growkids is provided completely free of charge.

Gateway vineyard norwich

Moment of Pride

Starting with a dream, we have established Growkids, built a team of volunteers, gathered and sorted donations and started supporting families in need. Using the supply of good quality clothes, we are building supportive relationships & friendships that are making a difference one family at a time .

Location: Norwich