Idea was born! Provisional research showed there was an overwhelming need for the support.
- the home of help for you and your family.
“All children deserve to be clean, clothed and safe.”
At Little Stars we know how important it is to have someone to turn to when you do need that vital help.
We are here to help you and your children when you need a helping hand - whether that be for the short term when times are unexpectedly difficult or for longer periods as you navigate the world of parenthood.
Our Little Stars team supports vulnerable families all over Shropshire - ranging from baby packs to ensure you have your hospital essentials for when the time is right to pre-loved baby and children’s clothing to essential equipment and pre-loved school uniforms and new presents so every child has something to open at Christmas.
We work with professionals from across the county who will refer you and your family to us for that all-important support.
Since our journey began in July 2020, we have helped hundreds of families and made a difference to the young lives of children across Shropshire.
Idea was born! Provisional research showed there was an overwhelming need for the support.
Social media frenzy of donations after CEO Leanne mooted the idea on social media.
Charity status achieved.
Referral service was launched.
Christmas present appeal was launched.
News of the charity’s work quickly spread.
A total of 161 children were helped in our first year and 38 hospital bag essential packs were donated to mothers to be.
More than £38,000 was raised in our first year.
We helped 237 children; provided 42 hospital bags and launched our school uniform service and safety in the home service.
Our geographical region expanded across Shropshire including more rural areas.
Santa’s Little Stars programme saw 458 children receive gifts who may not have otherwise had a present to open.
We gave out 5,500 donated items worth over £8,000.
Little Stars supports families across Shropshire with anything from emergency nappies and toiletries to stair gates and cots; along with pre-loved clothing for children of all ages and school uniform too.
These are essential items which we all deserve and so often are taken for granted - until the time comes when the finances mean you simply cannot afford to buy them - despite how much you really need them and want to provide for your beloved children.
We know families are under more pressure than ever before due to the cost of living, energy crisis and the post pandemic world whereby many are still suffering from the financial impact of job losses.
Families who previously donated to charities and to food banks are now the ones using these charitable services and Little Stars is no exception.
“We live in Shropshire - is there any poverty in Shropshire?” This is a question we hear all of the time.
Of children were living in poverty. Sadly these statistics get worse each year.
We meet families who could not have foreseen what was going to happen in the next chapter of their lives - loss of a job, death of a partner, illness in the family and in some cases the loss of their home.
Little Stars works with professionals including midwives, GPs, housing associations, schools, social services, domestic abuse charities and many more to provide these essential items for the children.
Parents cannot self-refer but can simply speak to their health professional and they will then make a professional judgment and refer them to us.
We help hundreds of families thanks to the wonderful donations from the local communities across Shropshire.
Our families range from parents who have unexpectedly lost their jobs and are facing a temporary difficult period and unable to afford the essentials to care for their baby or child or others who are going to hospital knowing their baby will be entering the care system but need and want them to go with their own baby bag and car seat and first clothes following the birth.
Yes - we accept pre-loved clothing from babies to teens but we ask for you to look at our wishlist first so you know what our families need at that moment. This is to avoid holding too many donations of the same kind which then restricts us from helping as many people as possible.
Yes - we all know the financial burden of school uniforms so it is fantastic to see them being used by others. You can donate at any of our donation points located in Tesco stores Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Ellesmere.
Yes - we would love you to name us as your charity of choice. Aico was the first to kick this programme off by offering us use of their amazing premises, whilst other businesses hold cake sales or take part in our fundraising challenges or set up their own challenges and events in order to raise money for Little Stars.
Yes - we host Santa’s Little Stars Christmas appeal every year where new presents are donated for children from birth to teens. These donations are then distributed through health professionals to families who may not otherwise be able to afford to buy presents for their children.
No - all referrals have to come through agencies, health professionals and other charity partners. If you feel you need our help you can simply talk to your midwife, health visitor, social worker, GP or any other health professional or support agency you are in contact with.
No - all referrals have to come through health professionals or partner agencies or your child’s school. Ask them if they have registered their school with Little Stars and they can contact us for you.
Some items have to be bought new for safety reasons such as mattresses, bottle teats and safety gates.
However, we can use monetary donations to buy any missing items from wider bundles which we don’t have in stock. Of course we do also have to meet small monthly costs for office space, hosting the website, printing of leaflets, and the like, which form the day-today running of Little Stars
Families who are facing difficulties - none of us ever know when our circumstances might change.
Many health professionals can refer families to us from when they first meet them at prenatal appointments to health visitors through the child’s journey.
When first introduced to Leanne a few years ago I was immediately inspired by what she was doing for little ones who most needed help, combined with her own young family to look after as well as a role managing others too.
Little Stars has blossomed into a wonderful force for good by simply doing everything it can to help those most in need. Any charity involving children tugs the heart strings and Little Stars is no different. Leanne is the difference though, we are so proud to help in any way we can. So many babies and young children have Little Stars to thank for being there and doing so much good. We can and should do more to support charities like Little Stars
- Neal Hooper, Managing Director, Aico
Leanne contacted Shrewsbury Homes for All to see if Little Stars Baby Bank could make a difference to some of the more vulnerable clients we support. We thought this was a fantastic sounding service and made referrals straight away! The Little Stars team have worked with our clients to provide essentials and much needed baby goods which without the referral they may have missed out on. This has all been done in a speedy, flexible, and professional manner with feedback provided.
It is so fantastic that we have this great facility to draw on and we are proud to be referral partners for such a vital service.
- Joanne Gough, Chief Officer, Shrewsbury Homes for All
Last year, during my year in office as the high sheriff of Shropshire, I was delighted to come across Little Stars Baby Bank.
The care, love and dignity that is shown in putting together all the pre-loved and new items in their extensive baby bundles is exceptional.
Leanne and her team work to provide a helping hand to families in need to make every new parent to feel special and give their child the best start in life. What a fantastic facility to have in the county.
- Dean Harris, Former High Sheriff of Shropshire
Little Stars has been an amazing life-saving service for our clients.
We have been overwhelmed with the beautiful items donated for our vulnerable clients and their babies.
- Rachel Greatorex, Family Nurse
Little Stars has good understanding and empathy for the difficult situations every day families are facing across Shropshire. A wonderful, non-judgemental service providing equipment, they rallied when a mum needed items quickly due to an imminent hospital admission following health concerns. Thank you Little Stars.
Little Stars have been amazing to families in the Shropshire area during this time of uncertainty. They have provided families with large pieces of essential baby equipment that families otherwise may have struggled to purchase. The equipment that Little Stars have provided include Cots, bedding, mobiles and bouncing chairs. All of which have been clean and in excellent condition. The families are so grateful for this help and support and it is nice to see them smile.
Thank you for all you do Little Stars.
Little Stars have been working together with our Early Help Family Drop in here in Oswestry. They have allowed families to access basic essentials for parents, children and babies. Little Stars have also helped our families by providing them with bigger items that are families cannot afford at this challenging time.
I have asked for assistance from the Little Stars Baby Bank on numerous occasions, in order to aid and support families in Shropshire who have limited resources and are in desperate need of support, and every time Leanne and the team have come through, providing hospital bags, clothing, hygiene items, cots and even a double pram! Without the service the most at risk members of our community would be left without the most basic items needed to ensure their children are clothed and have appropriate items to ensure they are safe and can thrive. I cannot recommend the service enough and I hope they continue to grow as a service.
I wanted to send some feedback over about the baby bank and the support that I have found from this. I have referred in a few of my families for the baby and maternity packages and they have always been amazing and filled with so many things for both mum and baby. The parcels are packed with good quality and lovely items that my families have been very grateful for. You provide a brilliant service to those that needs the most help and this is an invaluable service for the families we work with. The parcels are always done so quickly and prepared well and even with being able to transport them to our offices is amazing! I have told colleagues about the service and think that we need to continue to be positive about the work you all do so this can continue. It is having such a positive influence on the families we work with and we are very grateful for the support.
What a great service Little Stars is, it has been really good for me as I work with families and have been able to get essential equipment for them that they would have either gone without or just ended up in debt for, the cost of living crisis has been very difficult for so many and Little Stars had made a BIG difference to many. Thank you and I hope people continue to support a brilliant service.