The Building Bonds Project is designed to help families and their children to be close, especially in times of crisis, need or trouble. We believe that every child should have the chance to enjoy close and loving contact with their primary caregiver. A comfortable, well fitting hands-free carrier will enable these essential bonds to form, building a happy brain.
The Building Bonds Project fits and donates slings and carriers to families in health or social difficulties who also have a financial challenge. These families are often unable to source or afford their own carrier easily. We aim to break down the barriers to babywearing, making carriers accessible to those who need them most.
We offer guidance and signposting to local sling libraries, we can make recommendations for carriers for complex situations, offer consults to help identify solutions, and also in some cases donate slings and carriers to those who would not be able to afford a second hand carrier.
In order to be able to help as many families as possible, we ask clients if they are able to contribute towards the cost of their support (eg post and packing, contribute to the consultation, or towards the cost of the carrier). We are aware some families may not be able to contribute at all; we can reach more such families if our funds are able to stretch further.
There is much evidence to show that the first 1000 days of a child’s life have a huge impact on their future trajectory: we are here to help build the resilience and relationships that allow children and their families to thrive despite adversity and difficulties. (You can read more about this resilience here.)
Who do we work with?
We work with organisations that help people needing intensive social support, such as those with refugee status, survivors of trafficking, domestic abuse, or with previous social services involvement.
We help families whose children are needing prolonged stays in hospital, who are very unwell or have life-limiting illnesses. Close contact can be very reassuring for scared children and their parents. A sling/carrier can simply help with transport around hospital and to and from vehicles, and help with caring for other children.
We help families who have children with special needs. Comfy slings can offer fantastic opportunities for occupational or physical therapy as well as being a safe space for a child. They can be incredibly therapeutic, for children with sensory processing difficulties, autism or physical disabilities, for example.
Baby carriers can also be a very useful tool for children in the foster care system; helping to build secure attachments to the new caregivers, and to act as a tool to aid transition between homes.
We help families who are experiencing significant pre-existing or antenatal/postnatal depression, anxiety or PTSD, as we recognise that perinatal mental health disorders can have a very significant impact on parent/child bonding.
See what we have been up to recently here.
Non-profit volunteer-run project
Providing free carriers to families in times of crisis or great need
Helping families thrive despite adversity
Where are we?
Our main base is in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. We offer offer online support initially to assess needs.
We help families further afield, too, if there is a disability in the family, we will usually ask to work with the local sling library or consultant, to help with identifying and recommending an appropriate sling. If we donate a carrier, we post it once the best option is identified and has been fitted. Sling and health care professionals, and organisations/charities who support families in need can also refer families directly.
Check our eligibility criteria for referrals in this document here.
Are you a health or social care professional, or a charity/organisation supporting a family? Refer here.
Are you a sling librarian or consultant? Refer here.
We are a CIC (a Community Interest Company), staffed by volunteers and reliant on the kindness of others and grants and donations to be able to support families.