TWO years ago, Shelby Kennedy’s life came crashing down when she tragically lost one of her twins four weeks after giving birth.

The 26-year-old, from West Berkshire, began suffering from postpartum depression (PND) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and found it difficult to care for her daughter Amelia*, who was 15 months old at the time. , and hers her newborn Jacob * hers, as she mourns the loss of her son, Delton.

8Shelby, 26, says her local baby bank, Home-Start, helped her get through a traumatic time in her lifeCredit: Save the ChildrenThe baby bank sent Shelby all the essentials she needed for Amelia and Jacob.8The baby bank sent Shelby all the essentials she needed for Amelia and JacobCredit: Save the Children

After quitting her job in residential care, financial worries only added to the stress.

There were nights when he didn’t eat just to make sure there was food on the table for his family.

Hitting rock bottom, Shelby, who receives Universal Credit and has full housing benefits, “didn’t know where to turn.”

But then she heard about a charity called Home-Start, a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support that helps families with young children through their difficult times.

They supported Shelby with a weekly postpartum depression group and offered her clothing and items from the baby bank, including blankets, socks, clothes, milk and a ladder.

Like many bereaved families, he offered Shelby a “lifeline.”

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous about our new campaign, Baby, Bank On Us in partnership with Save The Children and Little Village in support of UK baby banks, Shelby, who is no longer with the father of her children, explains: “When my daughter was six months old, I got pregnant with twins.

How YOU can support the Fabulous’ Baby campaign, Bank On Us

– Give money by donating here or by scanning the QR code.

– Deliver clothes, toys and essentials to a baby bank, wherever you are in the UK.

– Give your time to volunteer. To find the nearest baby bank, visit

“It was an easy pregnancy until 30 weeks, when they found a cyst in Delton, so I was going back and forth to get it checked.”

After a routine examination, Shelby was informed that the twins were not growing as much as they should, so she was advised that it would be safer to remove them.

They were born at 36 weeks by caesarean section, weighing 4 lb 3 oz and 4 lb 11 oz.

“When they were born, Delton had to have surgery to drain the cyst,” he explains. “Unfortunately, he did not survive the surgery.”

Following the traumatic death of her son, Shelby began to suffer from PTSD and PND.

“I would wake up and still think he was here,” she recalls. “If I couldn’t see him, he would wake me up and think he had fallen out of bed.”

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Shelby went to live with her family for a short period, but when she returned home, that’s when she “really hit the ground running.”

She explains, “I didn’t want to go back in because for me, my family wasn’t complete at the time.”

“My daughter at the time was only 15 months old and I was taking care of her and Delton’s twin brother who was only four weeks old at the time.

There were nights I didn’t eat just to make sure my kids ate… I would nibble on a banana or a packet of chips every day just to make sure I could give them what they needed and just go without.

Shelby Kennedy26, West Berkshire

“Trying to balance that and mourning the loss of my son was difficult.

Struggling to get by, Shelby quit her job in residential care, but financial concerns soon became a concern.

“I only had a small part of the savings, but that automatically went towards the funeral,” she says.

“I couldn’t afford much. I applied for a grant which paid for most of the funeral but then to buy flowers to make it unique for a baby I had to spend almost all my savings on it.

“Afterward, I had less than £50 in my account and relied solely on Universal Credit. It was a struggle because I couldn’t afford the bigger things.”

She continues: “Previously, I had saved to buy a triple stroller for my three children, but after my son passed away, I couldn’t use it anymore.

“It was really big and maybe it was some anxiety, but I didn’t want to use it anymore knowing that it also belonged to my other son.

“Universal Credit paid for the basics, but I thought, how am I going to keep up with clothes and milk?”

Shelby became increasingly concerned that she would not be able to support her family financially.

“What if I can’t provide enough food?” she says. “There were nights I didn’t eat just to make sure my kids ate. She wasn’t eating a full meal.

“I would munch on a banana or a packet of chips every day just to make sure I could give them what they needed and I would just be left with nothing.”

Realizing her difficulties, a key worker at Shelby’s supported living accommodation suggested she seek help.

“The key worker referred me to Home-Start and the baby bank and that’s when I started to relax and was able to talk and get the help I needed,” she says.

“I didn’t know what to order or what I needed at the time.

What are baby banks?

– Baby banks provide essential items for babies and toddlers whose parents live in poverty, including diapers, wipes, clothing, bedding, bassinet, cribs, blankets, toys, and books. – There are over 200 baby banks in the UK, running out of shops, community centres, warehouses and even living rooms and garages.- Last year, 4.2 million children in the UK lived in poverty and 800,000 children lived in a household that used a food or baby bank.

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“But one of the Home-Start support workers contacted me and said, ‘We run the baby bank and we’re sorry for your loss. Can we do something? This is what we offer…’

Shelby explained that she would appreciate anything for a 15-month-old and a newborn and that “bags and bags” of essential items were delivered to her in a matter of days.

“Blankets, cultivators, socks, clothes, milk, stair gates,” he says. “It was really overwhelming the amount of things that they gave. They also sent things specially designed for my children.

“If they were sending toys, they would find out what colors they like, what they like, what size they are. They would not just bring a toy each, they would bring bags and bags.

“Not just old, ratty stuff. They put things up with unicorns and cars to make kids smile and that was really important.”

Shelby remembers once having a double pack of gloves and mitts sent to her.

“That was a really emotional touch because they knew what had happened, not only for my living son, but also included the twin who passed away,” he says. “I really felt like someone was listening to me.”

Over the next year and a half, Shelby was in constant contact with the charity and benefit bank.

Using the baby bench and Home-Start was 100% a lifesaver for me. Without them, I really don’t think I would be where I am today.

Shelby Kennedy26, West Berkshire

“While grieving, I was struggling to buy the essentials,” she explains.

“On a weekly basis, I could call the baby bank whenever I needed clothes. If I didn’t have diapers, they were just a phone call away and delivered to me in a matter of days.

“Clothes, even a pack of socks… having socks on a child’s feet to keep the cold out is one less thing to worry about compared to the other ten things on your list.

“Taking that stress off helped a lot. It meant that I could sit down and have my crying moments knowing that my children were supported at the same time.

For Shelby, the baby bench gave her something to focus on.

“It kept me afloat,” she says. “I really don’t know where I would be without him.

“I thought they would only deliver to my local area, but even when I was away with my family and had nothing to do with them, they still called me – they sent me baby bouncers and a high chair for my daughter.

“No matter where I was, they always went the extra mile to make sure I had what I needed.”

Through Home-Start, Shelby was also offered counseling.

“They gave me a volunteer who also sat with me once or twice a week,” he continues.

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“They helped with little things like the kids, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, or just someone to talk to.”

She recalls: “I remember at one point, it was close to December, and the support worker came and helped me wrap my children’s Christmas presents.

“Little things like that just took the edge off me. If I didn’t have to worry about it, I could focus on something else to make sure I got it right and wasn’t failing.”

For anyone nervous about seeking help, Shelby urges: “Don’t feel like you can’t ask for help.

“I never liked the brochures and I was like, ‘I don’t want to be the one who keeps asking for help because I can’t do it myself, it’s embarrassing.’

“My children’s survival was worth much more than a bit of shame I may have felt initially asking for help.

“And when you ask for help, it doesn’t feel like a gift, it feels like family, like someone is really listening to you.”

She adds: “Using the baby bank and Home-Start was 100% a lifesaver for me. Without them, I really don’t think I would be where I am today.

“I would probably be stuck between a rock and a hard place. But with his help I was definitely able to get out there and survive.”

Laura Chaffer, Baby Bank Coordinator at Home-Start West Berkshire, commented: “Our baby bank is relatively small, but our reach within the local community has grown significantly in the last 18 months.

“The current financial stress means that many families are struggling to meet the basic needs of their children.

“Our baby bank provides a lifeline to families like Shelby’s by offering essential items like diapers, clothing and gear, ensuring babies and toddlers have what they need to thrive.

“As a charity and baby bank, we are only as good as those who support us; we have some incredibly dedicated volunteers who work with us week in and week out to provide this invaluable service.

“We’re also bolstered by a dedicated local community that provides our quality second-hand clothing and gear and even new items like diapers and mattresses.”

For more information visit:

*Names have been changed

Shelby and her children holding a plaque for Delton8Shelby and her children holding a plaque for DeltonCredit: Save the ChildrenJacob* is a twin and unfortunately, due to complications, his brother died suddenly a few weeks after he was born.8Jacob* is a twin and sadly due to complications his brother died suddenly a few weeks after he was bornCredit: Save the ChildrenShelby says the baby bank sent toys specifically for her children.8 Shelby says the baby bank sent toys that were specifically for her childrenCredit: Save the ChildrenAmelia was 15 months old when her brother Delton tragically passed away.8 Amelia was 15 months old when her brother Delton tragically passed awayCredit: Save the ChildrenShelby was in constant contact with the charity and the baby bank for a year and a half8Shelby was in constant contact with the charity and baby bank for a year and a halfCredit: Save the Children8 Shelby received “bags and bags” of essential items in a matter of daysCredit: Save the Children

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