BHA supports a fabric diaper project run by a charity
Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) supports local charity Berwickshire Exchange with new projects that provide emergency clothing packages and a cloth diaper library.
BHA, with Berwickshire Association for Volunteer Service (BAVS), provides this support through the from the Scottish government Support communities and fund recovery from Covid.
Berwickshire Swap started out as a group of parents who had a growing mountain of children’s clothing that didn’t fit anymore. The means to pass on these clothes were limited, charity shops find it difficult to sell children’s clothes and recycle a lot of rags.
Catherine Goldsmith of Berwickshire Exchange explained, “It was decided to have a day where we could bring our oversized clothes and exchange them with the other parents in our group of friends.
“Then it was decided to hold an event at the Reston village hall and open it up to the local community, we couldn’t be the only parents with this problem. If the event failed, the venue was inexpensive to rent, so if no one showed up it wouldn’t be the end of the world and whatever was left could be donated to charity shops.
“We were pleasantly surprised that more than 20 people came and exchanged their unwanted clothes. Our next exchange later in the year had over 40 participants, then we had an exchange in the Duns Volunteer Room and over 80 people attended.
“Within a year of having our first exchange, we have organized several successful exchange events and have become a Scottish charity. “
Berwickshire Swap then began making emergency clothing packages using their stored clothing. These emergency packages are available upon recommendation from schools, health visitors, social services, BHA and other local organizations. They provide a seven-day wardrobe of used and new clothes in pants and socks for children ages 0-12.
Part of Berwickshire Swap’s charitable goals include sustainability and environmental awareness. Cloth diapers are a much better environmental choice than disposable diapers, but they cost more up front. It is also a challenge that many people are unwilling to take on if they do not have the necessary knowledge or support.
The new Cloth Diaper Library gives out packs of diapers for families to try for a few weeks at a low price. The set can contain a variety of diapers and everything you need to wash a child’s diapers and the Berwickshire Cloth Diaper Library will be running introductory workshops to help families learn about how cloth diapers work and if they wish to try them out via the Berwickshire Swap Trial Packs. or on their own. There will be online support via Facebook groups for parents to share ideas and experiences and ask questions.
Catherine added: “We have been working on setting up our new projects. We’ve created about 50 packs of emergency clothing ready to hand out when needed, and we’ve also created about 15 packs of cloth diapers for people to try on and return before deciding if cloth diapers are for them.
“Parents can borrow a newborn bucket, which contains the smaller diapers. There are a selection of styles available to let parents find what suits them best and save the cost of buying newborn diapers that may only last for a few months. These can be borrowed for 6 to 8 weeks at a time.
“The one-size-fits-all kits contain a selection of different types of diapers that parents can borrow for 2-4 weeks at a time so they can try on fabric tablecloths and see what works best for them.”
In addition to providing grants to Berwickshire Swap, BHA has helped provide storage facilities for this growing local charity.
Sarah Barnard from BHA’s Community Initiatives team said: “BHA is delighted to help support the startup of Berwickshire Swap. It’s wonderful to have seen the association’s progress over the past two years and how it has adapted during COVID 19 to provide packages of children’s clothing and the launch of their reusable diaper project, thus helping to make environmental sustainability accessible to all. “
The next Berwickshire Swap event is a children’s clothing swap at Reston village hotel at 2 p.m. on Saturday June 12, just in time for the children to organize themselves for the summer. So why not clean up and take the children’s clothes you no longer need and exchange them for the ones you need? Once you’ve paid your £ 1 entry fee, then you can take all the clothes you need with you for free.