Help at hand for Bendigo parents of newborns

HERE TO HELP: Glenda Serpell, Jan Claridge and Jane Diss want to assist parents struggling to afford all the necessary baby equipment. Picture: NONI HYETT

HERE TO HELP: Glenda Serpell, Jan Claridge and Jane Diss want to assist parents struggling to afford all the necessary baby equipment. Picture: NONI HYETT

A new Bendigo organisation that will provide baby goods for families in need will launch with an open day on Saturday. 

Sunshine Bendigo, a not-for-profit organisation that relies on volunteer workers, re-homes new and used baby clothes, prams, cots, and car seats, as well as nursery equipment.

Sunshine Bendigo co-founder Glenda Serpell said her organisation started working to address Bendigo's clear need to help families.

"As mums we've always been concerned about other mums, and cared about how they do in life, especially the ones faced with struggles," she said.

"I think you'd have to be blind if you can't see the need when you walk around town. Our project was an answer to the need that is so clearly presented and in your face."

Ms Serpell, along with fellow co-founders Jan Claridge and Jane Diss, took inspiration from Melbourne-based organisation St Kilda Mums, who have provided a similar service since 2009.

"We went to them and they're really happy for us to partner with them," Ms Serpell said.

"The founder we've been dealing with there, she's a lady who is really open and warm to sharing her ideas, because she really cares about mums too."

The organisation hopes to link with welfare organisations that can point families needing their assistance in Sunshine Bendigo's direction.

"Whether it's welfare centres, centres for non-violence or family services, wherever people would go to connect with services, we want to be there to help out," Ms Serpell said.

"If women present with a need, hopefully case workers will then be aware of our services and contact us."

Saturday’s event will see Sunshine Bendigo open its doors so the public can see the work the organisation has done so far. 

Donations can be dropped off at the open day, which will run from 10am to 2pm at Sunshine Bendigo's base at the Long Gully Uniting church hall.

"We've got jumping castles, face painting, a balloon man and a sausage sizzle," Ms Serpell said.

"Hopefully that will draw families and the word will spread. We want people to know that there is a place in Bendigo where if you have a need for your baby, this is where it's at." 

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