YOU might be a dab hand helping out at your kids’ school fete or whipping up cakes for a bake sale, but have you ever thought about volunteering on a regular basis?

Yes, life is hectic, but for a sense of fulfilment and a health and wellbeing boost, volunteering could be your superpower.

We’ve launched our Fabulous Baby, Bank On Us campaign in partnership with Save The Children, Little Village and baby banks across the UK that provide parents with essentials, from clothes to cots.

These banks are more vital than ever as families struggle with the cost of living, so we’re asking parents to support other parents by donating used children’s items to their nearest baby bank, and if you can, volunteer. 

“Volunteering has so many social, physical and mental health benefits, plus it helps your community and the planet,” says Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.

In fact, it’s so good for you, GPs now socially prescribe it — connecting patients with local groups, charities and social care services to support their health and wellbeing, from community gardening projects to volunteering jobs.

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Arts on Prescription in Gloucestershire is one of these schemes, and since its launch in 2014 it’s seen a 37% reduction in GP consultation rates, as well as a 27% reduction in hospital admissions.

Tempted? We reveal the many perks of giving up some of your precious time.

What are baby banks?

– Baby banks provide essential items for babies and young children whose parents are living in poverty – including nappies, wipes, clothing, bedding, Moses baskets, cots, blankets, toys and books.
– There are over 200 baby banks in the UK, and they run out of shops, community centres, warehouse units and even people’s living rooms and garages.
– Last year 4.2 million children in the UK were living in poverty and 800,000 children lived in a household that used a food or baby bank.

The Health Benefits

Helps loneliness

“Volunteering means joining in with a network of others and is a great way to combat loneliness,” says Dr Lee. According to a study in Psychology Today, loneliness is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

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Builds resilience

“Getting involved helps distract you from your worries, helping reduce stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms,” says Dr Lee. “Volunteers develop improved coping mechanisms for daily life, leading to increased self-esteem.”

Gives purpose

“Volunteering can create a sense of purpose and help us feel good about ourselves,” says Dr Lee. “It increases happiness and, according to one Japanese study, happy people can live up to 10 years longer.*”

Reduces Pressure

“A study by Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, found that  people who volunteered more than 200 hours a year, for four years, were 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure,” says Dr Lee.

“This could be because volunteering increases physical exercise, and we know there are many benefits to not being sedentary.

Also, participation in social events leads to the release
of the hormones oxytocin and ADH, which regulate the part of the brain involved in the stress response.”

Protects the heart

“Volunteering is good for your heart,” says Dr Lee. “In a study by the University of British Columbia in Canada, those who volunteered for an hour a week had lower BMI, cholesterol and levels of inflammation than those who did not.”

Helps with weight loss

Volunteering keeps you active and, according to one American study, those who volunteered 15 hours per week burned twice as many calories as those who didn’t. 

It’s a Brain-Changer

Volunteering is also great for the mind. “Numerous studies have shown that keeping up social, physical and cognitive activities reduces the risk of dementia by up to 60%,” says Dr Lee.

“It’s certainly true that physical activity leads to increased production of a vital protein in the brain that’s needed for neuroplasticity — making new neural connections.”

It sure beats a game of sudoku!  

‘You learn so much about yourself’ 

Dawn Neale-Seiffert, 62, lives in London and volunteers at Little Village.

“After being made redundant from my job in retail during Covid, I went freelance, which has been good but it also comes with times where you’re not working very much.

"I’d previously volunteered for various charities, and then an opportunity came up at Little Village. I met some of the team, including Renata who runs the hub, and they were wonderful. 

I sort clothes and meet families one to two days a week, to give them the items they need. It’s been an incredible change for me.

"You feel like you’re doing something good. Suddenly, you’re meeting people you would never usually come across and they are never what you imagine. I get quite emotional about it.

"It’s incredibly uplifting, because you learn things about yourself. There’s so much love and everybody is made to feel part of the community. We’re all in it together – nobody’s judging each other. 

"It’s been a really positive experience, and having had children myself, I know how important it is to give them a good start in life. It seems like an investment in the community.

"The camaraderie and the mental health benefits of it are also so obvious. I feel so great when I’ve finished a shift, even a really tiring, intense, busy one.

"Some people volunteer for a couple of hours every once in a while, sorting through the clothes to help out – it’s all appreciated. You’ll be hooked!”

‘Volunteering gives you a sense of community’

Kate Moran, 33, lives in Leeds with her husband Ross, 38, a business owner, and is a stay-at-home mum to Franklin, seven, and Corinne, four. She volunteers at Leeds Baby Bank.

“My little boy was in intensive care when he was born. Seeing how hard everybody worked at the hospital and understanding other parents’ difficulties, made me want to become a volunteer. 

"My family and I are in a healthy, comfortable position and it feels like giving back is the right thing to do. It’s made me realise how many people are struggling.

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"It’s easy to believe it’s all happening far away and doesn’t really involve you, but it’s literally happening on your doorstep. People are really struggling, especially now.

The community is lovely and the volunteers are amazing. When you’re a stay-at-home mum, it can be quite lonely, so it’s nice to go and meet people. I’d say to give volunteering a go. You won’t regret it.”

How YOU can support Fabulous’ Baby, Bank On Us campaign

– Give money by donating here or by scanning the QR code. 

– Give clothing, toys and essentials to a baby bank, wherever you are in the UK. 

– Give your time volunteering. To find your nearest baby bank, visit


BELOW is a selection of baby banks by region. See the web address at the end of the page to find contact details for all the country’s baby banks

  • North West

Baby Basics Bolton & Bury, West Lancashire

Baby Basics Carlisle, Cumbria 

Baby Basics South Lakes, Cumbria 

Baby Basics, Cleator Moor,  West Cumbria

Trafford Little Bundles, Lancashire

TippyToes BabyBank Preston, Lancashire

Salford Baby Bank, Lancashire

Snowdrop Doula CIC Burnley, Lancashire

Cascade Baby Bundles, Audenshaw, Cheshire

The Baby Room at Spinners, Leigh, Lancashire

The Healthy Gems Baby Bank, Oldham, Lancashire

NCT Mid Cheshire

NCT Preston Baby Bundles, Lancashire

KidsBank Chester, Cheshire

Motherwell Pass It On Baby Bank, Winsford, Cheshire

Hyndburn Baby Bank, Accrington, Lancashire

  • North East

Growbaby Newcastle, Tyne & Wear 

Love, Amelia, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear

Birth Bath and Beyond, Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Clothe and Feed South Shields, Tyne & Wear

Clothe and Feed Sunderland, Tyne & Wear 

Rosie's Corner, Hexham, Northumberland 

Stockton Baby Bank, County Durham

Darlington Baby Bank, County Durham

Baby Basics Darlington

Growbaby Hull, Yorkshire

Little Acorns Baby Bank Durham, County Durham

Hartlepool Baby Bank, County Durham 

  • North

Growbaby Teeside, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees

Baby Basics Leeds, West Yorkshire

Baby Basics Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Leeds Baby Bank, West Yorkshire

Baby Basics Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Birth Bath and Beyond Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Bradford Baby Bank, West Yorkshire

POPI Baby Bank Keighley, West Yorkshire

Rainbow Baby Bank Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire

Stepping Stones Baby Bank Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Calderdale Lighthouse, West Yorkshire

Tiny Hands Baby Bank Pontefract, West Yorkshire

Growbaby York, North Yorkshire

  • South West

Ashley's Birthday Bank, Christchurch, Dorset

Baby Bank Network Bristol

Baby Basics Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Baby Basics Cornwall

Baby Basics Plymouth

Brighter Bristol Storehouse, Bristol

Baby Basics South, Ilminster, Somerset

Growbaby Tiverton, Devon

Children's Storehouse Plymouth, Devon

Uplift Tiverton, Devon

Exeter Baby Bank Network, Devon

Little Lighthouse Baby Bank Wythenshawe, Manchester

Baby Bundles Wiltshire

The Nest Project, Bath, Somerset

Gloucestershire Bundles, Gloucester

Open Door Exmouth, Devon

Forest of Dean Baby Bank, Gloucestershire

Small Stuff Baby Bank, Radstock, Somerset

Stroud District Kid's Stuff, Gloucestershire 

Teignmouth Baby Bank, Devon

Ten Little Toes Baby Bank, Cowfold, West Sussex

Growbaby Swindon, Wiltshire

  • South East

Baby Bank & Beyond (South Wealden) CIC (Hellingly), East Sussex

Baby Bank Herts, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

Sebby's Corner Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

Stevenage Babyshed, Hertfordshire

Baby Basics Billericay, Essex

Growbaby Whitstable, Kent

Growbaby Aylesbury, Bucks

Baby Basics Bromley, Kent

Best Start Baby Bank, Eastbourne, Sussex

Basildon Borough Baby Bank, Essex

Growbaby Maidstone, Kent 

Growbaby Rayleigh, Essex

Baby Basics Chelmsford, Essex

Growbaby St Albans, Herts

Growbaby Hemel Hempstead, Herts

Precious Bundles Colchester, Essex

Fighting Chance Baby Bank, Petworth, West Sussex

Baby2Baby, East Sussex

Baby Basics Brighton

Baby Basics Dover & Deal, Kent

Baby Basics Englefield Green, Surrey

Baby Basics Folkestone, Kent

Baby Basics Willvern, Essex

First Days Reading, Berkshire

Baby Basics Hastings and Rother, East Sussex

Baby Basics, Grays, Kent

Baby Basics Shoreham, West Sussex

NCT Winchester Baby Bundles, Hampshire

NCT Woking Baby Bundles, Surrey

Pelican Parcels Brighton and Hove, Sussex

Baby Stuff Braintree, Essex

Tots 2 Teens Colchester baby bank, Essex

Stripey Stork, Reigate, Surrey

Sunshine Baby Bank Southend, Essex

The Baby Bank HQ Havering, Essex

The Baby Bank HQ Thurrock, Essex

Community Wardrobe Chelmsford, Essex

The Baby Bank Windsor, Berkshire

Growbaby Storehouse Ashford, Kent

Moses Basket Brentwood, Essex,

Growbaby Chelmsford, Essex

NCT Little Bundles Baby Bank Chichester & Arun, West Sussex

NCT Baby Bundles Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, Kent

Mama to Mama, Margate, Kent

Home-Start West Berkshire Baby Bank, Newbury, Berkshire

Growbaby, Wokingham, Berkshire

The Baby Bank HQ Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge, Essex

  • South

Baby Basics Portsmouth, Hampshire

Baby Basics Guildford

Baby Branch Southampton, Hampshire

Baby Necessities Southampton, Hampshire

Portsmouth Baby Bank, Hampshire

  • Channel Islands

Baby Basics Jersey

  • London

214 SPACE Baby Bank Hub Brent

214 SPACE Baby Bank Hub Hammersmith & Fulham

214 SPACE Baby Bank Hub Kensington & Chelsea

Growbaby Lighthouse, Sutton, Greater London 

Growbaby, Newham

Growbaby, Merton

Bromley Brighter Beginnings

Growbaby Purley

Baby Basics, Barnet

Cariad Baby Bank, Harrow

Growbaby Kingston upon Thames

Choices Boutique Islington

Cornerstone Baby Bank Leyton

Growbaby Wandsworth

Baby Basics Sunbury

Growbaby Enfield

Ealing Salvation Army Baby Bank

The Small Project South London

Tiny Toes, Tiny Feet, Northwood

Camberwell Baby Bank

Orchard Baby Bank, Woodford

Peabody Toddlers Clothes Bank, Ilford

Pram Depot Wood Green

Little Village (London-wide)

Mammakind Baby Bank, Greenwich

MerryGoRound Islington

Growbaby Hoxton

NCT Redbridge Baby Bundles

Hackney Children & Baby Bank

Ilford Salvation Army Baby Bank

Mama2Mama Woolwich

Lloyd Park Children's Charity Baby Bank Walthamstow

The Extra Mile, Hampton, Richmond Upon Thames.

  • Midlands

Brierley Hill Baby Bank, Dudley, West Mids

Baskets of Joy Leicester

Growbaby Leicester

Alice Charity, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire

Growbaby Northampton

The Arches, Nottingham 

High Peak Baby Bank, Buxton, Derbyshire

Growbaby, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

Growbaby Bedworth, Warwickshire

Bicester Baby Bank, Oxfordshire

Elayos Baby Bank Birmingham

Baby Basics Wolverhampton

Growbaby Birmingham St Michaels Church

Baby Aid Birmingham

Baby Basics Warwick

Baby Godiva Coventry

Growkids Coventry

Baby Basics Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Baby Basics Long Eaton, Notts

Baby Basics Leicester

Baby Basics Northampton

Baby Basics Hinckley, Leicestershire

Growbaby Birmingham Vineyard City Centre Site

Tots in Need Walsall, West Mids

Spark Baby & Children's Bank Staffordshire

Staffordshire Baby Bank, Stafford, Staffs

Telford and Wrekin Baby and Toddler bank, Shropshire

Clothe and Feed Wallsend, Herefordshire

Little Stars Shropshire

Karis Baby Bank Central Birmingham

NCT Malvern Hills Baby Bundles, Worcs

Little Cherub's Baby Bank High Peak, Derbyshire

Growbaby Worcester

  • Wales

Baby Basics Dryffryn Clwyd Denbigh

Baby Basics Vale of Glamorgan

Baby Basics Newtown

Baby Basics Swansea

Baby Basics Port Talbot

Baby Basics Wrexham

Cwtch Baby Bank Cardiff

Baby Basics Penrhiwceiber

Cariad a Cwtch Baby Bank Llandrindod Wells

Growbaby Cardiff

Pembrokeshire Baby Bank

Splice Baby Bank Bridgend

Bundles Baby Clothing and Birth Support, Newport

Bethel Baby Bank Port Talbot

NCT Cardiff Baby Bundles

Ely Baby Bank

Feed Newport Baby Bank

  • Scotland

Bairn Necessities, Glasgow

AberNecessities, Aberdeen

Growbaby Fife

Baby Bank Scotland, Hamilton

Bairnecessities Aberdeenshire

Bear Necessities Airdrie

Togs for Tots Dundee

Glasgow Baby Food Bank

GRA Baby Bank Aberdeenshire

Nelly Boxes East Renfrewshire Baby Bank

No 1 Glasgow Baby & Family Support Service

Tiny Treasures Baby Bank Oban

Button and Bows Baby Bank Perth

Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Care

Misty Glen Baby Bank Fort William

Dingwall Primary Baby Bank

Moray Baby Bank

Monklands Baby and Family Clothing Aid

  • East

Abi's Footprints, Sudbury, Suffolk

Baby Bank Norfolk

Baby Basics Lowestoft, Suffolk

Baby Basics West Norfolk

West Marsh Baby Bank, Lincolnshire

Suffolk Baby Bank, Bury Saint Edmunds 

Baby's Basket, Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Growbaby Thetford, Norfolk

Growkids Norwich, Norfolk

Fenland Family and Baby Bank, Cambridgeshire

GrowKids Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Little Family Baby Bank, Sutton On Sea, Lincolnshire

Little Treasures Baby Bank, Horncastle, East Lincolnshire

Little Bundles, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

  • Northern Ireland

Baby Basics Antrim & Newtonabbey

Baby Basics Ballymena

Baby Basics Belfast

Bump2Baby NI (Mid-Ulster Baby Bank)

Baby Basics Banbridge

Baby Basics Causeway

Baby Basics Magherafelt

Baby Basics Mullavilly

Growbaby Enniskillen

Carrickfergus Baby Bank

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