Cornard charity urgently seeking new premises after outgrowing current facility

Great Cornard charity Abi's Footprints The Stevenson Centre Esther Allard and Gill Soper with items collected.'Picture Mark Westley
Great Cornard charity Abi's Footprints The Stevenson Centre Esther Allard and Gill Soper with items collected.'Picture Mark Westley
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A charity, which provides a vital service for families struggling with the costs of having a baby, has out grown its premises and is urgently seeking a new facility.

Abi’s Footprints was set up last year – in memory of a still born baby girl – by members at New Life Church Community, in Great Cornard.

Church members collect donations of essential items for babies and toddlers, which are often too expensive for parents to buy.

The charity has been operating from a 30-foot shipping container at the Stevenson Centre, in Great Cornard, for nearly a year, which has since reached full capacity.

It has also used a garage to store larger donations, such as cots and prams, which have to be regularly moved to the container, due to damp conditions.

Project co-ordinator Gill Soper said the limited space was making it increasingly difficult to accept donations.

“All our storage is full at the moment,” she said. “It’s hard to get our team of volunteers organised when we don’t have continuous access.”

Plans to extend the Stevenson Centre will see the shipping container removed, making it an increasing priority for the charity to secure a new facility.

The projects needs to find alternative premises by April, although Mrs Soper said there was some leeway around the date.

She added that the charity would ideally like a 500 square metre premises, with toilet and kitchen facilities.

“We would much prefer to work from one location, so we can manage the project effectively,” said Mrs Soper.

The charity has made inquiries into other properties.

“We have been looking everywhere,” explained Mrs Soper. “We have lots of contacts in the town, but we are not able to afford a commercial property.”