• Mon. May 27th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


ByMOLE Creative

Sep 23, 2023

STILLER WAREHOUSING AND DISTRIBUTION, an award-winning family business based in Newton Aycliffe, has partnered with North East charity, The Children’s Foundation, to enable its vital Baby Box project to be delivered across the region.

In early 2023, The Children’s Foundation launched a campaign to fund a new, world-class Baby Box initiative in the North East.  The objective behind the initiative is to provide every first-time parent (and their baby) access to developmentally stimulating books and toys as well as child care essentials. The North East has the second-highest rate of low income and deprivation after Inner London and the project is designed to address inequality in the region when it comes to child development and to help give every child the best start possible. 

Stiller Warehousing and Distribution has supported the campaign from the outset, offering logistics support and guidance.  Stiller now holds all stock and has, at its own cost, put together a fulfillment solution as well as donating the use of its distribution resources, all of which ensure that every Baby Box arrives intact and on time.

The Baby Box project has been developed by working with and listening to parents, midwives, family nurses, GPs, and experts.  The package contains books and developmentally stimulating toys, as well as essential items to get families started and to support with the rising cost of living.  The successful pilot required 50 boxes to be assembled and delivered.  Following a successful launch and positive reception, the project is now being further developed with funding for a further 500 boxes having been recently secured.  This second initiative will also see support across a wider geographical reach to assist families living in Newcastle, Gateshead, and Northumberland. 

Sean Soulsby, CEO of The Children’s Foundation said “The ultimate aim of the project is to get a Baby Box into the hands of every first-time parent in the North East, and eventually to elevate the project to a national level. 

“The cost per box to store, assemble contents, fill, secure, store again, and then deliver out to expectant parents is substantial enough that it would have restricted our ability to operate at scale and even could stop the project entirely. Stiller took the strategic decision to lift this burden in its entirety and therefore made this essential project possible.

“We are incredibly grateful for not only their donation of time and resources but for sharing their expertise to ensure that the project runs as smoothly as possible, ensuring we can build positive relationships and trust with the families we are supporting.” 

Stiller Warehousing and Distribution is an award-winning company based on Aycliffe Business Park, Newton Aycliffe.  As a third-generation family business, it has serviced the North East of England for nearly 70 years and is continuing to do so successfully.  People are at the heart of the business which also strives to positively effect and influence its local, and wider, community.

In 2020, Stiller was delighted to be named winner of the North East Service Business award, recognising its commitment to its team, but also acknowledging the hard work the business has put into creating an excellent customer service experience. 

Business Development Manager, Thom Prentice, is well connected in the business community and seeks to maintain high visibility of, and contribution to, local causes where Stiller might make a meaningful difference as well as supporting team building efforts, creating and strengthening a workforce proud to work for Stiller. 

Speaking of the business’ support for the Baby Box campaign, Thom said, “Personal circumstances meant that I encountered the Clown Doctors in The Great North Children’s Hospital, and was amazed by their skills and learned subsequently that they were funded by The Children’s Foundation. This was our first contact with the organisation and, following an internal conversation with the Board, from then on the whole Stiller team was incredibly generous with their fundraising and sponsorship, solidifying our ongoing relationship into 2023 and beyond.

“When the team at The Children’s Foundation approached us for advice on delivery of The Baby Box campaign we knew we had to step up.  The project aimed to place a Baby Box into the hands of every first-time parent in the region, a task which is no mean feat to logistically deliver without support.  We are proud to be continuing to work with The Children’s Foundation to deliver this project today and, so far, we have delivered 113 Baby Boxes directly to new parents across the North East.” 

The Children’s Foundation, based at the RVI in Newcastle, pioneered the ‘Little Red Book’ that all parents across the UK will be familiar with, right here in the North East. The aim is that The Baby Box will be adopted by NHS Trusts nationally in the same way and made a staple part of supporting every child, whatever their circumstance, to achieve their potential.

Businesses in the region are invited to pay it forward by purchasing a box as a gift for expectant parents as they head off on maternity and paternity. For every box purchased The Children’s Foundation gifts an additional box to a vulnerable family right here in the region.