North Wales Nappy Collaborative
Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire
Promoting environmental awareness and alleviating poverty sustainably, through reusable nappies and sanitary products.
In 2015, after over a year of planning, research and bulk buying, Wrexham Nappy Library was born; initially just to promote, offer free trials and enable use of reusable nappies with full support, troubleshooting and guidance.
Within a short period of time, newer versions of brands were released. These days, it is essential to keep trial kits up to date so the client gets a feel for what’s available on the market with styles changing so frequently. As a result, I was left with a huge surplus of obsolete but perfectly functional nappies which I decided to offer to families struggling financially for whatever reason - there is no proof required or applicable criteria free of charge, with the simple request that upon cessation of use, they're returned to benefit another family. They come with the same support and presentation as the trial kits so others cannot differentiate between the two – this offers security and comfort for those embarrassed by their situations.
In 2016, I wanted to expand Wrexham Nappy Library and had huge expansion plans, fortunately I was approached by an old friend of mine, Lucy, who attends my Nappy Natter sessions as there is a blackspot in her area. In 2016, we did 148 long term loans.
We’ve been very fortunate as other libraries in the UK have donated their obsolete nappies to enable us to supply more families with this service.
In Spring 2017, after little need for consideration, we opened a second branch - Denbighshire Nappy Library; and now form The North Wales Nappy Collaborative - we cover all of Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire, parts of Powys, Gwynedd, Aberconwy and West Cheshire and help further afield via post when requested. We still offer the same service and work as one, we are simply able to cover a much larger geographical area now.
In 2017, we helped just under 200 local families and over 30 families across the UK, with our long term loans being as far out as Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Our final total for 2017 was 229 full kits for families with financial concerns, saving over 500,000 single use nappies from landfill as an unintentional but very welcome result. I was recognised for this in December when I won the Marjorie Dykins OBE Individual Volunteer Memorial Award 2017.
We try to get nappies to as many families as possible, especially in preparation for the colder months where people are forced to make the heartbreaking decision between paying for gas and paying for nappies for their children.
I also carry a demonstration kit of reusable menstrual products for anyone interested in seeing alternatives. Due to hygiene reasons, I’m unable to loan these out; however, we have a small number of brand new menstrual cups, brand new cloth pad kits and brand new breast pad kits to hand out to those suffering from period poverty.
We are determined to make reusables the social norm, reducing significant waste and alleviating poverty in the process!
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
The funding would enable us to purchase necessary items to compile 20 complete reusable sanitary pad kits (which can also be used for urinary incontinence too), which would eliminate period poverty for 20 individuals for upto 10 years. This would also enable us to concentrate our fundraising activities on long term nappy kits rather than attempting to fundraise (and indeed self fund) for both sanitary products and nappies.
"“We want to change the world, one bottom at a time!” Lucy Spencer - Director."