The Choices Boutique
We support vulnerable mums and mums-to-be with a free loan of baby clothes and equipment, and individually tailored 1-1 befriending in support of their mental health. We also provide parenting courses to support healthy attachment between parent and child.
This is an ongoing project and core to our work.
Charity information: Choices Islington
The Choices Boutique is focused on alleviating the stresses and costs of parenting for those who are financially or otherwise vulnerable.
Living in London as a pregnant woman or new mother can be tough, particularly when facing difficult circumstances. The Choices Boutique aims to improve the well-being of pregnant women and mothers with young children by reducing stress caused by poverty and lack of community.
Our clients can be referred from children's centres, GPs or word of mouth.
The Choices Boutique provides much needed practical support in the form of free baby clothes and equipment, which can be very costly. The befriending service, which some Boutique clients take up, provides a valuable lifeline into community and can help with language practice, or advocacy when trying to access other forms of support (such as benefits or housing support). Our parenting courses also help to improve prospects for children who are otherwise vulnerable and at risk.
To support vulnerable mums and pregnant women
Activities» The Choices Boutique - free loan of baby clothes and equipment
» One-to-one befriending and support for mental health
» Attachment-based parenting courses to improve child-parent relationships and prospects for the children in the longer term
What success will look like
- more parents able to pick up clothes and equipment
- improved anxiety and depression scores for women attending befriending sessions
- parents feeling more equipped
Vulnerable parents will feel more equipped to raise their children and feel supported through their challenging circumstances. In the longer-term, children who feel more attached to their parents will have better prospects and are more likely to make healthy decisions in the future.
We will demonstrate success by continuing to monitor numbers of parents using the Boutique service, with an expected increase of 30% over the next five years. We also expect anxiety and depression scores to reduce.
The risk that we don't have enough baby clothes and equipment to give out to increased numbers of clients to the Boutique is mitigated by the fact that we have never run dry on donations from generous parents who have no more use of their items. We have also re-vitalised a facebook page that identifies the specific needs we have for clothes/equipment and we will reach a wider audience this way, thus being sure we will always have a stream of second hand items.
We report to donors through regular (quarterly) newsletters and specific more detailed reports to individual grant-giving funders.
Budget - Project Cost: £49,726Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £18,648 Project Manager Salary £2,900 Boutique Refreshments, equipment (storage) and improving the space (painting) £3,600 volunteers We train and support volunteers to run Boutique and Befriending appointments, and associated admin £1,800 Parenting Course Holding 8 weekly session of a parenting course three times a year £300 Publicity Leaflets and publicity material £22,478 FCR rent, overheads, admin costs (Full Cost Recovery)
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Unrestricted income £32,720 Guaranteed
The Choices Boutique is based in Islington and welcomes mums and pregnant women from around the local area and beyond. Islington is one of London's most deprived boroughs and ranked fifth worst for young people lacking qualifications. 38% of children in Islington live in poverty and it has the second highest rate of domestic violence offences in north London. All of our surrounding boroughs experience similar multiple deprivation and a number of our clients are in coercive relationships.
At least a third of pregnant women accessing the service are victims of domestic violence and most of the women we serve face poverty, isolation, immigration concerns and other at-risk issues. The children of these women will also benefit from the project, many of whom face extreme vulnerability in their housing situations and struggle at school.
Choices Islington has been working in the local area for the last 20 years and has a proven track record of working in partnership with local organisations to serve some of the vulnerable members of our society. We have in-house expertise in counselling and responding to mental health issues (we are a registered member of the BACP) and have a long-standing relationship with a number of local referrers (GPs and social services). We also have a bank of volunteers who help deliver the project.
Read more about the Charity running this project.