A VOLUNTARY organisation that relies on an army of mothers and grandmothers is helping families in crisis throughout Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire Bundles was set up by volunteers earlier in the year to provide equipment including cots, baby and maternity packs, toiletries and clothing to those in emergency situations across the county.

The group, which relies entirely on public donations, supports a whole range of parents and families, from young teenage parents with no family network to support them, through to homeless parents who have lost their houses to fires.

But Gloucestershire Bundles, which has Lily Cooper (formerly Allen as a patron) is facing a crisis of its own, as it needs to raise £5,000 this year to prevent closure and to enable it to continue to help vulnerable families.

Tetbury volunteer Heidi Bailey is the group’s secretary and trustee. She said: “We try to be an emergency service. There is a massive need for our service and we are receiving at least one referral every day. We get such a variety of families in crisis and it is vital work. The organisation is growing all the time. We have 11 volunteers at the moment across Gloucestershire made up of mothers and grandmothers.”

The group, which has applied to become a charity, receives referrals from health visitors, social workers, midwives and family members.

“ People often hear about us through word of mouth. Because we are such a new organisation we are not yet well-known enough by some professionals but we are hoping that will change as we get bigger,” said Heidi.

* To find out more about Gloucestershire Bundles go to www.gloucestershirebundles.org, email gloucestershirebundles@yahoo.co.uk or call 07769 355219.