Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire
For 45 years, Hillhouse has been working with young people and families in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. As a registered charity, the organisation offers a service to individuals who are at risk of financial hardship and poverty. Families are often referred to the service as a result of family breakdowns, leaving care, disability, mental health or unemployment. To assist with these struggles, the organisation provides good quality, second-hand children’s clothing, free of charge to local community members. Any child from birth to age 16 can receive items from the charity and Hillhouse also makes available mother and baby boxes to women going into hospital as well as maternity related products such as prams and cots.
Funding from the Essentia Foundation is helping to support Hillhouse’s ‘Mother and Baby’ initiative. This project distributes basic hygiene products, clothing and essential goods to new mothers and families in the local area. Demand for the project was identified through consultation with local midwives who saw a trend in expectant mothers enter the labour ward without basic and essential items. Hillhouse wanted to address this issue and provide women with a stress-free start to motherhood and a secure environment in which local families could thrive. Since April 2020, HillHouse have worked hard to ensure that every expectant mother can be supported through birth and the post-natal process. At the present, 223 boxes have been distributed to pregnant women and these have helped vulnerable families to adapt to life with a newborn which has only been made more difficult by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thus far, the impact of the Mother and Baby initiative has been far reaching. Referrals, such as a new mother whose child was born six weeks early was able to source vests and sleepsuits that fit her newborn thanks to the support from Hillhouse. Additional families have reported a boost to confidence when entering maternity wards as they no longer feel judged by the baby items that they have provided for their child.
Moving forward, Hillhouse continue to implement project activities and are looking to expand the services provided as lockdown restrictions ease. Hillhouse remain committed to supporting vulnerable families in their local area and continue to be an important voice for mothers and families in East Ayrshire.
“Times are hard with 3 kids. I worship everything Hillhouse does for children and families. They are truly amazing.”– Local Mother