How it Works!
Why does the Project donate carriers? Babies want to be close to their parents and carers; it helps them to feel safe. They cry less when held and rocked and soothed, and will usually fall asleep in their carer’s arms. In-arms carrying can be tiring, so using a sling or carrier can make life much easier. Using a carrier bring many therapeutic benefits to babies, older children and carers from all walks of life.
Babies with disabilities or sick children may benefit enormously from being held close in a carrier, giving them a safe space, offering reassurance, or allowing them to participate in family life. It may make transport easier.
When a family is experiencing a great upheaval (leaving their home country, feeling from domestic abuse, moving into foster care), a carrier can provide a safe haven and a sense of loving familiarity in a strange situation.
Slings can simply be a practical solution for getting around and out of the house and able to do things; for others, the act of carrying can be calming and uplifting. There is a hormonal basis to how close contact can help with mood disorders (oxytocin and dopamine), For many, the use of a sling (when the last thing you want to do is hold a baby) can trigger these biological cascades and bring some relief. Arms can get tired holding babies who will only stop crying when cuddled; a sling can make this easier.
Who can use the Building Bonds Scheme?
The Building Bonds Project is designed to improve access to carrying help and support for families who would benefit from using a sling and are unable to source their own, due to financial or accessibility issues. We help refugees, children with life-limiting illnesses, families with mental health challenges and many more.
Please see our referral criteria can be seen here.
Your HCP/social care worker can refer you to us to access the service, or you can refer yourself. Your local sling librarian and consultant may offer to refer you.
The application forms are in the tabs at the top.
What will happen once I have applied (or my HCP/sling library has applied for me)?
If you meet the criteria, one of the team will get in touch via your chosen method to invite you to attend a drop in session for support, fitting and donation. This is free of charge.
If you are in the Sheffield Children’s Hospital we will arrange to visit you and your child there.
We visit specific organisations with carriers on fixed dates (by prior arrangement) to help multiple families needing our support.
If your sling library has referred you, the carrier will be sent to them so they can show you how to use it safely nd well
It is yours to use as you wish. If you no longer need it, and would like to see it help other families, you are welcome to return it to us. If you find the carrier doesn’t meet your needs any more (eg your baby has grown out of it), do let us know. We may be able to find you an alternative or show you how to use your carrier in a different way.
How can I contribute to the Scheme?
We love involving more people in our work! You can spread the word about what we do by sharing our facebook page, liking and commenting on our posts, and telling people about us.
You can donate your carriers, fundraise for us, volunteer for us – read more here!
You can contact us here,