NewcastleWorld Christmas Campaign: Help The Children’s Foundation give EVERY new Geordie parent a baby box
The charity are hoping to Make a Million and get newborns and their parents off to the best start
You can text MAM to 70450 to donate £3 to the charity
At NewcastleWorld we're today launching our Christmas campaign - and this year we're backing The Children's Foundation.
Every year, as a website in the JPI Media and NationalWorld organisation, we will use the festive season to shine a light on a worthy cause in the region, helping to inform, spread the message and hopefully get backing for a charitable project.
The Children's Foundation is an independent, Newcastle-based kid's charity that, 30 years on from their Yellow Brick Road appeal of the early 1990s, is looking to again make a regional impact with their push to get baby boxes out to every family that needs them here in the North East.
The charity hopes to make £1 million over the next three to five years to give every newborn baby in Newcastle a baby box - however, we hope the charity can hit that total much quicker!
The campaign is called Make a Million, MaM for short.
Inside the boxes, which double up as mini cots, will be books, mats, stack cups, towels, room thermometers and more.
The kit is all bought new, which is what the money will go towards.
Sean Soulsby, CEO of The Children's Foundation, said: "The Children's Foundation celebrated its 30th-anniversary last year and we wanted to launch a project that focused on the issues of today, but linked back to the charity's history when it was founded in 1990 and the Yellow Brick Road appeal.
"That enabled us to raise 12 million pounds to build the Sir James Spence Institute of child health and research which we gifted to the NHS Trust and in return, we occupy the space in here.
"That was very much about support and research into childhood illness and disease on the back of a government report which found that children in the North East had the worst health outcomes in the country."
Now the charity is looking ahead to a brighter future for children in the North East.
Sean explained: "The Make a Million is focusing on giving babies in the North East the best start in life.
"It's well documented that projects that focus on early intervention and prevention are key in tackling those health inequalities.
"So for us, it was about something that would relate to families and local people here in the North East but that could impact massively on baby development health and wellbeing, as well as parental confidence."
As well as supporting children, assisting parents is at the heart of the MaM campaign.
Sean, a dad himself, knows the challenges that come with welcoming a newborn into your life.
He said: "Nobody teaches you how to be a parent. You either learn from your own experience or through peers.
"There's a lot of parents, especially first-time parents, up at all hours sharing experiences of learning together.
"We wanted to use these boxes to prepare before the baby comes, reduce parental anxiety and increase confidence."
The charity hopes to pilot 250 of the boxes next Spring with families in Newcastle, Gateshead and Northumberland.
From there, with the public support, The Children's Foundation hopes to roll it out nationwide.
You can text MAM to 70450 to donate £3 to the charity, or donate more here.