When a child is born...
Here at End Furniture Poverty, we’re proud of the work we have done to put together our list of Essential Items, the furniture and appliances that every household should have access to in order to live at a societally acceptable standard. However, we are constantly self-evaluating to ensure we’re doing as much as possible to ensure that nobody and nothing is left behind in our battle to ensure that poverty doesn’t become part of the furniture.
Never ones to rest on our laurels, we have realised that there are certain areas where we need add-ons to our core list of Essentials.
Now, we know it can be difficult to forget about kids in this age of never-ending Royal Babies. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, there are 302,838 children under the age of one living in families with a household income substantially below the UK average - its definition of poverty. That represents about 35% of all children in that age group. It has occurred to us, therefore that babies are one of these areas that requires a ‘bonus’ list. Welcoming a newborn can be an especially challenging, stressful time for any parent. But imagine how much harder it might be when you’re worrying about how to afford the basics; the things your baby has to have.
We plan on adding a section to our next Essential Items survey on baby items and what should be deemed absolutely necessary, but we’d like your suggestions on the sorts of thing that should be included.
Much like our previous blog on what exactly furniture is, there is a debate to be had on the sorts of items that constitute baby furniture. When considering baby essentials, the example of Baby Boxes is a good place to start. Given away free by the Scottish Government to all newborn babies, the box includes a number of essential items for the first few weeks and months of a baby’s life. Things like blankets, clothing and thermometers are all taken care of.
From an EFP perspective, the only thing that should really be classed as furniture is the mattress that is designed to fit in the basket as a makeshift bed. While things like nappies, clothing and thermometers are unquestionably essential, they are not things that we would consider to be furniture. The boxes therefore provide us with a useful framework around which to base our idea of Essential Baby Furniture.
Instinctively, the items we would look to include are things like cots (complete with mattress – an obvious extension of the bed, bedding and mattress from our original list of essentials), a changing table or mat to offer somewhere safe for changing nappies and a pram for getting baby around. We need your help though. What other items should we be looking to include and consult on? A high chair? Is a car seat an essential given that people may not have access to a car? What about a baby bath? In order to produce the definitive list of essentials we need as many people’s thoughts and opinions as possible. Please get in touch and let us know what items you think we should be considering. We’d also love to hear your suggestions for any other ‘bonus’ lists. We want to make sure that no groups are left behind in our quest to End Furniture Poverty – please help us make that the reality.
If you’d like to take part in the next wave of our Essential Items survey, sign up for our mailing list here.