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January 9, 2024

Grant amount: £25,000

Stripey Stork

  • Grant programme: Positive Futures
  • Region: South East

Towards the core costs of delivering Stripey Stork's School Days programme

About the organisation

Stripey Stork is a baby bank who collect donations of new and preloved clothes, toys and essential items for babies and children, up to the age of 18, and rehomes them with local families experiencing hardship. We believe that every child deserves the same start, and that if we share items our families have outgrown, we can support a circular economy in a focused and meaningful way.

Organisation’s objectives:

We meet the essential practical needs of vulnerable families across Surrey and Croydon. Our referral partners share the impact that our practical packages of support have on families in poverty: they meet basic needs by providing a safe place to sleep and warm clean clothes to improve mental health. They reduce isolation, improve self-esteem, and reduce the number of complex decisions that address immediate needs. This enables the family to take improved longer-term decisions. In providing this practical support we ensure that families have the items they need to care for their children.

About the project

Stripey Stork’s School Days 2024

Stripey Stork believe that every child deserves the same start in life.  ‘Fitting in’ and enjoying school is a crucial part of giving young people the opportunity to live life to the full and it should not be dependent on their circumstances.  Children should feel empowered to embrace their school days. Through our School Days campaign, we support students to access the practical items they need to make the most of their education. As more families struggle to make ends meet due to the cost-of-living crisis, we are seeing schools take a more prominent role on the frontline, identifying families that need support.

The range of items we offer varies from the essentials (non-branded uniform, school shoes and trainers, filled school bags and PE kit) to the more bespoke, e.g. exam pencil cases and kit for school residentials.

Our focus is on the non-branded school uniform so that we can extend our support to as many families as possible. Many schools operate their own pre-loved school uniform sales and offer support to families with branded items. By focusing on other essential items will relieve a significant burden for families who are struggling.

Impact of PHF’s support

Stripey Stork aims to meet every request for School Days items that we receive from our professional referral partners across the county.  We are providing the practical items families experiencing poverty in Surrey and Croydon need for their children to thrive at school.  We anticipate in 2024 we will receive requests for 2,500 school bags, 2,500 pairs of school shoes and trainers, and over 7,000 items of uniform.

Each of our school bags are filled with the age appropriate items that each child needs to start school: a water bottle, notebook, writing pens/pencils, colouring pens/pencils, highlighter pens, eraser, ruler, pencil sharpeners, a pencil case and an activity / puzzle book.  For secondary school children we also include a scientific calculator and a maths set.

Our long term charity partner, Sals Shoes, are generously supporting us with the brand new school shoes and trainers that we need to sure that every child supported by us has well fitted suitable shoes to start school.

Stripey Stork offers a weekly deliveries to our regional hub partners during the busiest months of our School Days project to make it easiser for schools and health professionals to access our service.

We know that the support Stripey Stork provides to these families through our School Days project not only ensures these children have all the practical items they need to start school, but that the children start school confident and ready to embrace learning, and reduces the burden and worry for parents.

“The children love their new back packs and couldn’t wait to use them. The water bottles are highly appreciated when you have four children. £2 for a water bottle might be nothing for some people, but for us that’s an extra carton of milk! The activity books, paper and stationery supplies will be a great help. Thank you so much.”

Recent stories from Stripey Stork

Read more about Stripey Stork's work and projects

How does your organisation exemplify PHF’s values?


Stripey Stork prides itself on the quality of our service from the products we give out to the referrals system to the volunteering experience.

  • Products: we ensure that all items we give out pass our high safety and quality standards.  We sort and repair items to ensure that only the best quality items are passed on.  We know that the families we help would struggle to afford to repair the items, and that laundry facilities are not always readily available so we ensure that all the clothes are of an excellent quality and provide enough for a week. We have developed our own safety checklists and standards with Surrey Trading Standards which are used by all staff and volunteers to check items. When items are given out the team pass on any relevant safety information to our referral partners, e.g. cot assembly instructions and buggy manuals.
  • Referrals system: We know the importance of providing the right items to a family in a timely manner and therefore work closely with each referral partner to provide a prompt service.
  • Volunteering: Stripey Stork is very proud that its volunteer work has been recognised with the highest award (the equivalent of an MBE for charities), The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Volunteers are at the heart of our work, dedicating their time to enable us to meet the demand for our service.  In generously supporting us with their time, we recognise the positive impact that volunteering has on the community bringing people together to form meaningful relationships, improve mental health and provide essential workplace work experience. Our team strives to ensure all our volunteers leave knowing they have made a difference to the families we support.


Stripey Stork’s work is dynamic and responsive. We can pivot our work according to specific unique social, political and economic circumstances.  For example, responding to the challenges of lockdown, an influx of refugees, or the cost-of-living crisis. Together with our referral partners, our volunteers and our operations team, design new packs to meet the need, and efficient ways to prepare the volume required. We also work with teams that support families with specific needs. Recently we have noticed a significant increase in the number of requests for school residentials. These trips away are such an important milestone for young people. For many it marks their first time away from home and a first step towards independence. Being aware that some families are unable to afford these trips, schools have funded places but then panic sets in when the packing list comes home.  Providing sleeping bags, waterproofs and spare clothes can be an extra expense that they can’t afford, and in households where siblings need to share trainers they worry about how they will manage.  Our team respond by reaching out to our community for the bespoke items we need but don’t usually stock, like sleeping bags, and prepare beautifully presented packs of all the items they need in suitable duffle bag or rucksack which they can use.


Stripey Stork demonstrates integrity through its governance and operating model. We are transparent about our operations, finances, and the impact of our work, providing audited annual accounts and reports to update donors and supporters.


Sustainability is at the heart of Stripey Stork’s working model.  We recycle our community’s baby and children’s equipment and clothes. After sorting them, we check, repair and clean them, ensuring that only high quality items are used in our packs – “the type of item we would be pleased to give our best friend”.  Our volunteers give these items a new life, saving them from landfill.  Any textiles that are damaged (e.g. stained or ripped) are sent for textile recycling. Items we cannot use but which are in good condition – e.g. military camouflage design clothes (which we do not give out as we support many refugee families who have experienced trauma) are given to local charity shops. To repair equipment (e.g. cots, buggies and highchairs) that are in a general state of good repair our team purchase replacement broken parts. There are some items which cannot be restored and do not pass our safety checks; when this happens a local refuse collection company take the items and they provide certification that all items are recycled and disposed of responsibly.