Hannah Andrevski wants everyone to have access to essential baby equipment. (ABC Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
When Hannah Andrevski wanted to pass on her pre-loved baby goods to people in need, it wasn’t as easy as she expected.
The Canberra mother of two contacted a long list of local community support networks hoping she could donate a collection of items in excellent condition.
“Many of the community groups just didn’t have the capacity to store things,” she said.
Roundabout Canberra accepts donations like bedding and toys in excellent condition. (ABC Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
Ms Andrevski had previously donated baby goods to Karinya House, a local community support service for mothers and babies.
“They really do need good-quality donations but just don’t always have the resources to deal with donations when they all come in at once,” she said.
It didn’t take long for Ms Andrevski to learn she wasn’t alone.
“I just kept discovering that so many other families were in the same situation.
“They all had really great things they wanted to donate but didn’t know where they could donate to.
Rigorous safety checks are carried out on prams and baby capsules before they are delivered to recipient families. (ABC Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
“Canberra has a really interesting mix of comfortable middle-class families and people who are in desperate need of support.”
Inspired by Melbourne-based group St Kilda Mums and the Dandelion Support Network in Sydney, Ms Andrevski pulled together of team of mothers from among friends and women in her parents’ group.
In just a few months the volunteer not-for-profit team Roundabout Canberra launched and is working with local organisations including Barnardos, the Canberra Hospital, Karinya House and Child and Youth Protection.
Here’s what Roundabout Canberra needs
- Volunteers to help sort through donations
- Onesies, winter jackets and jumpers
- Prams, bassinets and cot blankets
- Single prams suitable for newborns
- Bassinets with all parts included
- Reversible car seats for newborn to four years (must be less than eight years old and never been in an accident)
- Financial donations are accepted and tax deductable over $2
“We take donations from members of the public and then pass them onto social services who have clients in need,” Ms Andrevski said.
“We don’t pass anything on directly to individuals that need the items, so our relationships with the services are really important.
“While most of the organisations we’re working with have issues around space and storage of donated goods, they have also been restricted by concerns around the safety of second-hand items.”
Ms Andrevski said the aim of Roundabout Canberra was to take on that responsibility.
“Using a thorough safety checklist, we safety check any item that is governed by a mandatory safety standard,” she said.
“That’s taken a lot of pressure off the community groups we work with.
“They know that the items that we give out are safe, in good working order, clean and have been checked.”
Baby clothes in excellent condition come and go from the Roundabout Canberra headquarters en masse. (ABC Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
With the need for storage space high on the agenda, the Roundabout Canberra team was delighted when Eastlake Sports Club in Kaleen offered up space for the group’s base.
“The club has given us 200 square metres of storage space as headquarters for Roundabout and it’s rent free,” Ms Andrevski said.
“Rotary Belconnen then raised the money to pay for a whole lot of supplies for us.
“They also covered the cost of materials to build shelving that the local Men’s Shed built.”
It’s a grassroots project that Ms Andrevski hopes will continue to grow when she returns to work this month.
“We’re all working mums and so it’ll be interesting to see how we go as many of us return to work from maternity leave.
“We’ll have to find a way to make it work but the effort so far has been fantastic.
“The Dandelion Support Network have been so helpful to us and given us so much advice; that has been really crucial.”
Hannah Andrevski has been overwhelmed with generous donations of pre-loved baby goods. (ABC Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
Roundabout Canberra will hold a donation day at The Sports Club, Kaleen on April 29 from 10:00am to noon.
“People can drop off goods on that day but we don’t accept drop-offs without warning outside that window,” Ms Andrevski said.