Young Entrepreneur award for Ealing Baby Bank Manager
published on 22 Aug 2023
The Salvation Army’s Ealing Baby Bank received recognition locally recently when its Community Centre Manager, Chanelle McPherson-Bradshaw won the Young Ealing Foundation’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Chanelle (24) from West London was awarded for her work on the Baby Bank, which was set up in 2019 to support local families struggling with the financial responsibilities of providing for their children, whether it be due to having no recourse to public funds, asylum seeker status or families struggling with the cost of living.
Run and managed by Chanelle, who is supported by Community Mission Facilitator, Liz Houghton, the baby bank in Ealing is part of a wider Salvation Army Family Hub which also includes a Little Lounge Toddler Group. The Family Hub has ties to other local organisations that all come together to provide families with a space to find support.
Chanelle took on the role of Baby Bank Co-ordinator in 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year she had the opportunity to step up and manage the Baby Bank and jumped at the chance.
Chanelle was nominated for the award by Liz. Feedback from the judging panel for the Young Ealing Foundation Awards heaped praise on Chanelle describing her as “an absolute inspiration” and added that her dedication and commitment to helping others at such a young age is awe-inspiring.”
Chanelle said: “It was such an honour to be recognised for something like this and I couldn’t be more grateful to my team who have supported me through many challenges every step of the way on this journey and continue to help the baby bank grow.
“I wish for a future where services like this aren’t needed, however until then we are happy to fill this gap in our community.”
Major Ruth Gray, Divisional Area Officer for London said: 'I cannot thank Chanelle enough for her work in the community for The Salvation Army in Ealing. She leads this expression of The Salvation Army with passion, humility and endless drive and energy. This award is completely deserved, Chanelle is an inspiration to work alongside.”
Ealing Baby Bank supports children aged 0 – 4 and has held approximately 450 appointments with families since January. This has been a mix of returning clients and new, with an average of 8-10 new families being referred weekly. This does not include the connections with local health visitors who collect items on behalf of families several times a week.
Anyone in need who is expecting a baby can also receive support from the Baby Bank. It provides starter packs with baby clothes, food, and other items for both mother and baby.
Donations of baby toiletries, clothes, and equipment (excluding toys, electrical items, car seats and mattresses) for children aged 0 – 4 years are very welcome.
Donations can be dropped off on a Tuesday from 9am – 4pm at the Baby Bank, which is located at Ealing Salvation Army, 8 Leeland Road, Ealing, W13 9HH.
Anybody who would be interested in volunteering at the Baby Bank or toddler group is also encouraged to get in touch by contacting 020 8840 0348 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org