Pregnancy Help Dunedin manager Chris Ottley is surrounded by some of the thousands of items for babies and children that are distributed to families in need each year. Photo by Brenda Harwood
More and more families are finding it hard to deal with the
pressure newborn babies bring.
Families on low incomes - including people who work - are
finding it particularly hard and are reaching out to social
agencies for help.
One of those agencies, Pregnancy Help, has helped hundreds of
Dunedin families with new babies, giving out more than 14,500
items of clothing and baby gear in the past year.
Manager Chris Ottley said those seeking help could be anyone,
from people on low incomes, including people on benefits or
studying, as well as working people.
"Winter is the toughest time for people who are often living
in cold homes and struggling with high power bills and
feeding their families,'' she said.
During the past two or three years there were more people
coming to Pregnancy Help, Ms Ottley said.
In the past year, the South City Mall-based service provided
almost 700 families with 14,000 items of baby and children's
clothing, 600 items of baby bedding, 107 bassinets, 42 dozen
re-usable nappies, and a large assortment of other items.
Mostly of the items were donated and frequently by the same
people who received help previously, Ms Ottley said.
''A huge amount of our clothing and equipment is donated back
to us by the people who we have helped, as they really like
being able to help other people,'' she said.
Plunket Otago-Southland area manager Barb Long said there had
been a noticeable increase in Plunket referring families to
agencies such as food banks in the past two or three years.
People were still as prepared to have a baby as they had
always been, but it was the increased cost of living which
was making life difficult for families with a newborn baby.
For more information about Pregnancy Help Dunedin, ph
455-5892, email email@example.com,
or drop in at the South City Mall.
- by Brenda Harwood and Tim Miller