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Award-winning support for families in Greater Manchester

Stork Connections Harpurhey, Longsight & Salford outside the Science & Industry Museum Manchester, June 2023

Stork Support

Parcels delivered across Greater Manchester March 2020 - March 2022
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Families helped with their baby essentials March 2020-March 2022
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Referral agencies working with us to support families
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What a 2 and half years it has been! When the pandemic hit, Visit from the Stork CIC responded to the Coronavirus crisis with our now award-winning Stork Support project – delivering baby essentials delivering baby essentials such as nappies, wipes, infant toiletries and medicines to families in hardship across Greater Manchester.
The Coronavirus crisis affected every family in the region through job losses, benefit delays, food restrictions and more. Our project not only filled the gap of food and essentials support tailored to young babies and families that traditional food banks couldn’t provide but also unearthed a deep-rooted need for our service due to the health inequalities already present in Greater Manchester.
Nearly three years on, our focus is helping parents get back on their feet and out and about in their communities – we now host 4 peer support groups through our Stork peer support project and run monthly social events through BOOBS & BOOBS in Bury. We’ve also launched our Stork Store shop and family sessions at our new community hub in Salford and are starting Toy Swap sessions with our funded toy hire service That Toy Thing.
But, with living costs on the rise and a looming recession, we are very conscious that demand for our Stork Support service may reach 2020 highs once again as families are pushed into crisis. We are here to help and do all we can – in 2021 we helped hundreds of families with baby essentials, as well as food support, benefit applications, furniture and children’s clothes.
We couldn’t do any of our work without continued support and donations of items and money to help our families. You can donate as a one-off or monthly via Paypal or Square. We also have an Amazon Wishlist where you can send us much needed baby essentials and toys to give out to our families.
Our projects are award-winning, thanks to our amazing team of dedicated staff and volunteers – if you fancy joining, we are always looking for volunteers to help with any of our projects and make a real difference to families in Greater Manchester. Scroll down to see more information about all of our projects currently ongoing.
In November 2020, we published an impact and social value report about phase 1 of our project. Read it here.

Stork Store at Emmanuel Centre, Salford

A window showing a picture of a sunshine behind a cloud with the words 'hello sunshine' and a beach scene with a sandcastle, a beach umbrella and a crab

Opening times

Our community hub & shop Stork Store is now open 10am – 1pm Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Donate items to us during opening hours or on Tuesday afternoons 2.30-5pm.

Our Stork Store community hub and shop at Emmanuel Church and Centre, Langworthy Road, Salford opened in June 2022, thanks to funding from Salford CVS, Salford Integrated Care Partnership (previously NHS Salford CCG) and The Postcode Lottery.
What can you find at Stork Store?
FREE books, school uniform and other clothes
New and pre-loved Clothes aged 0-10 years from 20p
Pre-loved and new Toys for aged 0-8 years from £1
Toy bundles from £3
Our pocket money toy box has bargains from 50p
Board games and puzzles for all the family from £2

We share the Emmanuel Community centre with a number of other organisations (as you can see from the window) including Tiny Tots Nursery and Salford Food Parcels.
We also run weekly family activities at our shop and community hub at the Emmanuel Centre which are always free, pay-what-you-can or donation based. We want the centre and our shop to be accessible to as many people as possible and we make sure all are welcome.

Our current weekly timetable is as follows;
Tuesdays open 2.30-5pm for donations only in term time. (please contact us)
Special family event sessions on during school holidays, please check social media or our events page for info.
Wednesdays – Stay & Play (0-4 yrs) 10.30-12 (£1 suggested donation) plus Messy play & special themed sessions in school holidays.
Thursdays – Stork Peer Support 11-12 (parents & children 0-4, FREE) Term time only, Special event craft sessions on during school holidays.

Our Story

Visit from the Stork CIC supports new parents and parents-to-be across Greater Manchester. Our vision is for all parents to be equipped with the resources they need to achieve a better quality of life for themselves and their family.

Having started out in 2013 as the UK’s only publication for parents & parents-to-be under 25, we have grown to be an organisation that works with parents of all ages, adapting our services according to the needs of local families.

We are proud to be based in the City of Salford, Greater Manchester; one of the fastest growing cities in the North West in terms of population size and regeneration. This however, brings challenges for families and support services as budgets are also squeezed for things once considered statutory.
Covid-19 in 2020 and the subsequent Cost of Living crisis we are experiencing in 2023 has highlighted this even further, as the families living in poverty or just above the breadline become the hardest hit from lockdown, the loss of jobs and services and the rising costs and interest rates. 

Our guiding principles

We believe parents should feel informed and supported about the choices they are making for their families; from the first pregnancy scan to the first day of school and beyond. We provide a support network across all of our projects for new and experienced parents alike, with the aim of connecting families together over shared experiences, and ensuring that every parent has the confidence to ask for help when they need it.

All parents should have the chance to have a happy, healthy and positive parenting experience. This includes having enough money for everything they need; having time to spend with their children, having opportunities to develop themselves as a person outside of being mum or dad. Our projects aim to ensure families can work towards these goals; helping them through hard times and giving opportunities for training, volunteering and employment.

Every family has the right to be a happy family, with children being healthy and cared for. We aim to educate, inform and support parents about current topics in ways that are accessible, interactive and relevant. We want to help parents feel proud and confident in their parenting abilities, no matter what the issue is that they are facing.

Our projects

We have lots of projects going on in Greater Manchester all of which aim to create a support network for parents, connecting families together and helping them through both hard times and celebrating the good. We are there with them every step of the journey.

Yep, we love BOOBS! Be Open on Breastfeeding Salford & BOOBS in Bury supports women to achieve their breastfeeding goals – whether that’s to breastfeed for 1 week, 6 months or anything beyond! We believe all women should have a chance to have a happy and healthy breastfeeding journey. We provide vital peer support and a network of safe spaces for mums to breastfeed in, as well as monthly social events.  Click on our logo to be taken to our Linktree or find more about us in the ‘projects’ section of the website.

Our Stork Store sells new and pre-loved Toys, books, games, children’s clothes and parenting equipment to raise funds and be able to support families with free baby essentials as well as emergency utility top ups and new mum packs. You can find us at our Stork Store hub at Emmanuel Centre in Salford every Wednesday and Thursday 10am-1pm. You can also buy items through our online shop or Facebook group and click and collect or get items posted across the UK.

Our Stork Connections peer support group is to connect and support families together in local areas across Manchester and is a way to continue to help our Stork Support clients with baby essentials. Our first group in Longsight was started in 2021 and has been running at the Church of the Nazarene for 2 years. We have since had groups in Gorton, Harpurhey and Salford, supporting over 35 women, bringing  communities together and making new friendships. Our groups are currently paused for the summer but will hopefully be making a return in Autumn/Winter 2023. 

“Helpful advice delivered in a relaxed and friendly way by the obviously knowledgeable advisor.”

Service User

“You’ve been supportive, informative, non-judgemental – thank you!”

Service user

“The volunteers have been so helpful, thank you”

Service User

“Kerry has given me lots more confidence about feeding and reassured me that it is going well. She was very informative and helpful about the concerns I had about breastfeeding.”

Service User

“It was great to have practical support with actionable advice, that I can take up straight away.”

Service User

"I started volunteering back in March just as the project was starting up, as I was really keen to support people in my local grassroots community. The whole team at VFTS have been amazing, they work so hard to make sure people in need are getting support at what has been a really tricky time."

Jodie McNally
Stork Support volunteer

“I was heavily pregnant and had a toddler during lockdown. Stork Support provided nappies and all the essentials I needed while I was struggling and was an absolute lifeline. Thank you so much.”

Service User

"This service is so valuable to our clients, especially as we have a large number of families who have no recourse to public funds. Your service relieves the stress on them immensely."

Neighbourhood officer
Manchester City Council

"The assistance provided by Visit from the Stork has helped Jayne to obtain provisions for her new born child that she would not have been able to afford- or she would have had to have gone without other essentials to finance the cost. This help in the first 3 months of her baby's life has been instrumental in alleviating hardship."

Dave
Salford Citizen's Advice

"When I moved on to Furlough in April and found myself with extra time on my hands, I saw the opportunity to get involved with Visit from the Stork CIC, and thought it sounded like a great organisation to get involved with. Having not lived in Manchester too long, it has been good to go out to lots of different areas of the city I otherwise might not have visited. I have met with various people along the way who are always so grateful to have a helping hand from our service."

Louise
Stork Support Volunteer

"I would like to say a huge thank you to you and your whole team for what you are doing, i'm overwhelmed with all the stuff that has been provided to me for my daughter, it means so much to our family. I actually don't have the words to describe how happy I feel when the volunteer comes to drop off the essentials for my baby and all the different items which have been carefully selected to my babies needs - its above and beyond my expectations. I feel so blessed to have this support through our difficult times. Thank you so so much."

Service User
South Manchester

"I am so happy I joined the group in Longsight. It has been an absolute lifeline for me over the last year. I have made new friends and learned so much about motherhood. Having support with nappies has really helped as well."

Stork Connections group member
Longsight

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