Oh baby! Clothing service is a real joy

Lucy Mayer has won a spa break thanks to her initiative

Lucy Mayer has won a spa break thanks to her initiative

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A BABY clothes “library” started by an Oxfordshire mum-of-three has proved a hit with new parents.

With new babies costing an average £4,000 in the first year, Lucy Mayer, of Elderdene, Chinnor, spotted a gap in the market.

Hundreds of parents have taken advantage of her free charity lending service, With A Little Love (WALL), which she runs from her spare room.

Now her three years of hard work have won her a spa break from biscuit manufacturers Bahlsen in a national competition.

Mrs Mayer, 31, mum to twins Holly and Isla, four, and 20-month-old Aidan, said: “I can’t believe I was picked by Bahlsen Break, for what started as a little thing in my back room.”

Borrowers range from foster carers taking care of a young child to families struggling to afford new clothes.

“One lady suddenly found she had to go in to hospital to give birth prematurely.

“Of course she hadn’t any clothes for a tiny baby and this was adding to her stress.

“She was able to pop by on the way to hospital and pick up a box of premature baby clothes from us.

“It was great that she had one less thing to worry about, so she could concentrate on having her happy, healthy little baby.”

Mrs Mayer, who is married to Matt, 31, a GP, came up with the idea when she had twin babies and the cost of new clothes became “overwhelming”.

She was also trying to find new homes for their hand-me-downs and envisaged a wall of clothes boxes which people could borrow and return like a library.

In between raising her three little ones, she began collecting donations from friends and neighbours, but never guessed how popular her little idea would be.

Mrs Mayer now has more than 80 boxes of clothes to lend.

She joked: “My husband thought it was a great idea, but I don’t think he quite realised that he’d end up with boxes stacked all over the dining room.”

Her sister Sarah Bradley, from Buckinghamshire, who nominated her for the holiday, said: “Lucy really deserves a treat, and a rest.

“All parents know how busy life is with little children and Lucy, instead of just taking a break or doing something for herself when she got a few minutes down time, worked on WALL.

“I don’t know how she found the energy or time. She’s my little sister and I’m very proud of her.”

Find out more at withalittlelove.co.uk

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