Leicester

Leicester Baby Gear charity to shut due to cuts

Baby Gear Image copyright Google
Image caption Baby Gear was set up in 1985

An infant equipment charity, which has helped thousands of families over 30 years, is to close after local authority funding was cut.

Baby Gear on Clarence Street, Leicester has provided refurbished baby equipment to low-income families and also trained adults with mental health issues.

Trustees said staff, users and their families would all lose out.

The city and council councils said they regretted the decision but were facing millions in budget cuts.

Set up in 1985, Baby Gear took in donations like pushchairs, cots and high chairs, refurbished them and sold them on.

'Gap in my life'

Currently it has five staff and sees about 40 people each week in its workshop.

The chair of trustees at Baby Gear, Martin Wragg, said: "It will have huge impact.

"The staff will lose their jobs, the services users referred to us by the city council will lose their work and their families will lose their day of respite.

"And the families who came to the shop for equipment will lose out as well."

He said they had tried to find other sources of funding but there were no grants to cover day-to-day spending.

One of the people who used the workshop was Philip Moore, from Birstall. He said: "The work motivated me. I know about the cuts so it wasn't a complete shock.

"But it will leave a gap in my life and I don't know what I will do with my time."

The city council said millions in cuts and the introduction of personal care budgets meant its contracts with Baby Gear had to change. It said it would help users find other care providers.

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