So far, the Group has approved 32 applications for emergency funding, a fund set up to help support people and communities impacted by covid-19, and awarded £15,865.42 in small grants to community groups, local charities, and individuals in the areas that it has housing stock.

One of the community groups that applied for funding was Tippytoes Baby Bank, based in South Ribble. The baby bank supports families in and around Lancashire who are in urgent need of baby essentials.

Progress Housing Group donated £500 to Tippytoes baby bank, which has helped them to buy much-needed items such as new mattresses for baby cots, moses baskets, safety gates for doors and stairs, and slow cookers so families can make healthy, warming, and enjoyable meals for all the family from baby upwards.

Tippytoes receive over 100 referrals a month from families in need of baby essentials such as formula milk, baby bottles, nappies, moses baskets, prams, clothes, and safety gates that they can't afford to buy. During the lockdown, Tippytoes saw their referrals numbers double with people struggling more than ever due to unexpected financial constraints or not being able to source items from the shops.

Sian, a volunteer at Tippytoes Baby Bank, said: "Our Baby Bank runs just like a food bank but with baby essentials instead. We collect new and preloved items from the local community and give them out to families in need who have babies and young children.

"We feel that every child deserves the very best start in life but unfortunately, things happen, and it can sometimes be a real challenge. We want to help families who are struggling a little or are in crisis, to still have the best start.

"Thanks to the £500 funding we have received from Progress Housing Group, we can launch three projects that will help us to provide basic essentials to families in need of support during these uncertain and worrying times."

Robert Porter, Service Director for Operations at Progress Housing Group, said: "Through our Community Investment Fund's 'Emergency Funding, we have supported 32 community groups across the Lancashire area and awarded £15,865. We are proud to continue supporting the incredible work undertaken by the Tippytoes Baby bank, especially at a time when their help has never been more needed. We are pleased to be able to support them again in providing much needed essential items for babies and their families in South Ribble and applauded them for the life-changing difference they are making!"

For more about Tippytoes Baby Bank, visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/TippyToesBB

Please email the Progress Involvement Team at community@progressgroup.org.uk if you require any further information about our Emergency Fund. Application forms are available here.