Getting kids the right "stuff"

STUFF FOR KIDS: Kidstuff Whyalla Founder Leonie Harris with her sons Joey (holding) and Callum with some of the prams offered to local families.
STUFF FOR KIDS: Kidstuff Whyalla Founder Leonie Harris with her sons Joey (holding) and Callum with some of the prams offered to local families.

A team of local volunteers have come together to provide key items for parents raising children aged up to 18 years, supporting financially-strained families.

Prams, toys and clothing are among the most popular donations made to local families by Kidstuff Whyalla, with those making use of the service encouraged to donate belongings they no longer need.

Founder Leonie Harris said the group was set up after she was unable to find a way to give away eight prams that she no longer required.

"I thought a couple of people might be interested in a facilitated swap, and it just took off," she said.

"I realised there was a need for this so I expanded it to meet the need of the community."

Beneficiaries of the program are identified through a mixture of social media promotion, community advertising, and contact with family support services and other related services

Ms Harris said families were very grateful for the support of Kidstuff Whyalla and felt that a service like it had been needed in the community for a very long time.

"It's been fairly well received," she said.

Currently Leonie works in a team of five and is assisted by Kira Robinson (carseats, child restraints), Monique Resmini (delivery), Tina Hawes (Port Augusta liaison) and Hollie Ruddock (Aboriginal support).

"Bouncers, child seats, toys, children's activities, books, we have pretty much anything that could be used for a child or a teenager - if it's been donated we've got it," Ms Harris said.

"I started off just having a couple of boxes in my house and it's progressed to where it's taken over half of my garage, an extra shed and now a tent as well.

"If you're a parent, caregiver, foster carer, doesn't matter - if you're looking after someone up to the age of 18 we'll help."

For more information about what Kidstuff Whyalla offer, visit https://www.kidstuffwhyalla.com.au/. They accept donations of broken items as they can be used to repair other products.