Victorian not-for-profit organisation St Kilda Mums has been selected by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, as one of seventeen international charities they will shine a spotlight on in October.
One of just three Australian charities selected, the @sussexroyal Instagram page has chosen to follow St Kilda Mums and highlight their work to a worldwide audience of 9.6 million people. Followers were asked to suggest organisations they enjoy volunteering for, ones they feel proud to be part of and ones that put those in need of support first.
St Kilda Mums was founded in 2009 by current CEO, Jessica Macpherson OAM. It quickly grew from a weekly working bee held in her living room to today’s thriving operation, consisting of over 3,000 volunteers rehoming more than 59,000 nursery items worth $7.3 million last year to more than 20,400 babies and children. All goods are distributed by Maternal and Child Health Nurses and social workers from more than 250 partner agencies across Victoria.
With material aid donations, financial support, incredible volunteer contribution, and a lot of hard work, St Kilda Mums can provide everything a family needs to welcome their baby home from the hospital for an average cost of $126. This could include a cot, pram, car seat, bouncer, breast pump, change mat, toiletries, nappies wipes, clothing and linen, books, toys and many other essentials from an extensive list of 66 items.
In May 2019, St Kilda Mums were forced to move their headquarters from St Kilda to Clayton after outgrowing the space in St Kilda. The new Clayton premises is three times bigger which allows the charity to support more families than ever before. St Kilda Mums does not receive any ongoing government funding which means they rely on the community to continue supporting families in need at a cost of $200,000 - $250,000 each month across their three branches.
“We started out wanting to help mums in need. We believed that by recycling our much-loved babies and children’s equipment and clothing we could not only share the joy of motherhood but also save the earth’s precious resources. Nursery items that people desperately needed were just going to landfill.” says Ms Macpherson. Ninety-eight per cent of items distributed by St Kilda Mums are secondhand.