A NEW nappy bank to help Poole families in hardship, has been launched by Dorset HealthCare’s B First (Babies and Families In Recessionary/Stressful Times) Project.

It follows an increase in referrals to local food banks over the last few years as more and more families struggle to afford other necessary items.

For many families are not just in need of food, but everyday products such as nappies, female sanitary products, toothbrushes and toothpaste. As Poole’s Food Bank doesn’t have the capacity to provide them, a team of local health visitors has set up a Nappy Bank to provide items that families may be struggling to purchase from their weekly budgets. Rachael Hearson, a local health visitor who devised the scheme, explained: “Sanitary products and nappies can make a dent in the weekly family budget and can severely limit the food choices for that week.

“But these are essential items that families need. “In recognition of this and to provide a bit of extra help to families, we have launched a Nappy Bank; with the help of JP Morgan – who have kindly donated £1,000. “The Nappy Bank can be accessed via a voucher scheme similar to those in place at food banks.”

Vouchers for the Nappy Bank will be issued from Heatherview Medical Centre in Poole and can be redeemed at Branksome Children’s Centre on Poole Road.

The vouchers can be obtained by completing a referral form. For more information, contact Rachael Hearson at Heatherview Medical Centre on 01202 722233 or email rachael.hearson@dhuft.nhs.uk.