This year, Parental Choice discovered ‘From Babies with Love’, a social enterprise which is making a big difference to babies and children around the world. It is doing this in a unique way and engaging way by working with HR teams in the UK to reward new parents and ensure they don’t feel forgotten when on maternity or paternity leave. Read on to discover Cecila Crossley’s inspiring story.
From Babies with Love the beginning
When I became a parent, one of the big children’s charity adverts came on tv, and my emotional reaction was profound. Of course my own children are my priority, but my concern for children everywhere deepened.
I was out shopping for my son’s baby clothes when I had the idea, what if I could buy beautiful baby products that also help vulnerable children? That would speak to the emotions I experienced so positively. Because I couldn’t find a brand doing that, From Babies with Love was born.
Every penny of profit from our unique, ethically sourced designs goes to orphaned and abandoned children around the world, and in safe, happy places, vulnerable children can grow up in a loving family.
With a corporate background myself I soon realised that From Babies with Love could make a unique contribution to HR strategy, because of the story of helping vulnerable children and how engaging it is for parents.
I talked to many HR Directors, who spoke of their work to engage and retain working parents as part of their gender balance and Diversity & Inclusion strategies. They also shared how staying in touch with staff on parental leave is important but challenging; it can’t be too much, but they also don’t want colleagues to feel forgotten.
So we designed FAMILY – the parental leave service with purpose – with people strategy in mind.
From Babies with Love gifts tangibly express people and community values across the parental leave journey. Our beautiful organic baby clothes are used over many months, so every time baby wears them the employee recalls the well wishes of their employer, and that these are the clothes that also help vulnerable children – unobtrusively communicating with and showing appreciation for the employee every time.
And around six months after the gift, we send a follow up letter, to share with the employee how the gift they received is helping others; it comes with a polaroid photo of some of the children being supported. For example, we support children in North East Nigeria, where, we fund three Child Friendly Spaces for unaccompanied children affected by the ongoing conflict.
Each Child Friendly Space has a trained Child Support Coordinator so the children can progressively overcome traumatic events, a Social Worker to identify an appropriate caregiver for the children (including identifying and training foster parents), and learning materials and equipment for the children to resume their education.
We connect HR with Corporate Responsibility in a new and relevant way, and the feedback we receive is incredible. In this 3-minute video, HR leaders at some of our clients explain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIAbdXDtufw
From Babies with Love is a social enterprise, a purpose-led brand. I’m fascinated by the growth and innovation in this area. Our model, making ethically sourced products and donating our profit, is learned from other social enterprises, and an element I love is the simplicity of it, how you can create so much meaning within a product, especially for a gift, and at the same time help others.
There is growing interest by companies to buy from social enterprises across their supply chains, for example buying stationery that also sends micro-finance loans to female entrepreneurs in Africa, coffee that helps the homeless, conference room water that provides clean water to places without and bathroom toiletries that create employment for disabled people.
These are all opportunities for companies to get more value from their budgets, in ways that are highly engaging for their staff. Which is key to From Babies with Love’s offering, for colleagues welcoming new additions to their family, and for less fortunate children around the world, you can make an impact, at a defining moment.
Written by Cecilia Crossley
Cecilia Crossley is the founder of From Babies with Love, the baby brand that donates 100% of its profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world.
An award winning social enterprise, From Babies with Love generates a new source of income to support some of the world’s most vulnerable children to be loved, cared for and educated, going on to lead independent lives, breaking the cycle of poverty. From Babies with Love currently supports 4,100 children in over 30 countries.
A Chartered Accountant with a background in the City and charity finance, Cecilia is half Brazilian; as a child herself she saw children living on the streets of Rio, fuelling her passion for international development and social enterprise.