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The Nappy Collective - for clean, healthy and happy babies


For us, a nappy is not just a nappy - it’s the ability for a family in crisis to buy something else critical or to give their child a healthy, clean, and stable start to their day” - Sandra Jacobs, Chair and Founder of The Nappy Collective


Sarah Witty, CEO of The Nappy Collective community, grants, family, domestic, financial wellbeing, financial, support


Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy. Having a clean nappy makes a big contribution to this.


But in Australia, tens of thousands of families experience ‘nappy stress’ and struggle to access enough nappies to change their children as often as they need to.


In these households, it can often mean having to make the choice between nappies and other essentials.


What is nappy stress?


Research by The Nappy Collective in 2019 estimated around 280,000 children across 150,000 families experience nappy stress in Australia. These children require approximately 430 million nappies a year.


The research, which was aimed to better understand social needs and support gaps faced by families experiencing nappy stress, revealed nappy stress is driven by three main factors - lack of income, high cost of living and broader social disadvantage.


People can be short on nappies for a variety of reasons which include fleeing domestic violence, experiencing or being at risk of homelessness, seeking asylum or experiencing challenges with mental health or substance use.


Those experiencing extreme nappy stress can spend almost 10 per cent of their weekly disposable income on nappies and are likely to cut back on other essentials, like food, so they can afford nappies.


Source: The Nappy Collective

Source: The Nappy Collective


Mums on a mission

In 2013, a group of mums set out to help families experiencing nappy stress.


“We found a handful of nappies that our toddlers didn’t fit into anymore. Then we got thinking, there must be other parents out there who have a handful or even half a box of nappies they’re no longer using,” says Sandra Jacobs, Chair and Founder of The Nappy Collective.  


And mums are often right, aren’t they?


Many families do have leftover nappies at home they don’t need any more, for many reasons. Often a child or toddler will outgrow their nappies before a packet is finished and there might be spares in a bag you forgot about, in the car or at the grandparents’ house.


The Nappy Collective was established around the idea that if these spare nappies are collected and redistributed they could make a big difference to families in need.


From collection points all around Australia, nappies are directed toward community partners that support families in need, including women’s crisis shelters, respite services and community organisations supporting disadvantaged families such as asylum seekers and refugees.



Partnering for change


ANZ has a long history of supporting the communities in which we live and work through a workplace giving program, employee volunteering and the ANZ Community Foundation.


In 2021 ANZ, through a Community Foundation grant, donated $15,000 to The Nappy Collective to redistribute 500,000 nappies through their twice-yearly collections.


The ANZ Community Foundation is funded by regular contributions made by ANZ employees which are double matched by ANZ. The Foundation aims to support projects run by charitable organisations which offer a direct and tangible benefit to local communities.


Changing more than just nappies


“We’re grateful to have received a grant from the ANZ Community Foundation and for the ongoing support we’ve received since,” says Sandra.


In April this year, ANZ’s Bendigo branch on Mitchell Street was a trial “pop-up” collection point for nappies. What started out as a two week campaign was extended to four weeks, thanks to the overwhelming support from the local community.


In total, approximately 2000 nappies were collected and given to Sunshine Bendigo to distribute to local families.


The Bendigo pop-up was supported by ANZ Bendigo Branch Manager Louis Meyer, himself a father of three, who understands from firsthand experience how expensive essential items such as nappies and formula can be.   


Pictured: ANZ Bendigo Mitchell St employees (l-r) : Jack Copeland, Divya Umesh, Nick Evans,  Louis Meyer, Rachel Elliott, Jammisyn Manns

Pictured: ANZ Bendigo Mitchell St employees (l-r) : Jack Copeland, Divya Umesh, Nick Evans, Louis Meyer, Rachel Elliott, Jammisyn Manns

As a result of the success in Bendigo, 25 ANZ branches across Australia will be a collection point during our national collection from Monday 18 July to Sunday 31 July. 


"Every unused nappy can go to a baby who really needs it. For us, a nappy is not just a nappy - it’s the ability for a family in crisis to buy something else critical or to give their child a healthy, clean and stable start to their day,” says Sandra.


“We weren't able to run our Collective Campaign last year due to COVID-19 so this year, more than ever, we’re relying on the generous support of community donations, volunteers and our amazing partners like ANZ."



The Nappy Collective - keeping precious bottoms clean


Since starting in 2013, The Nappy Collective has expanded right across Australia and the total tally of nappies redistributed to families in need is over 4 million.


This is an extraordinary achievement for a community-based organisation run mostly by volunteers and brings us closer to our vision that every child in Australia has nappies to allow them to remain clean, healthy and happy.


Learn more about The Nappy Collective. You can show your support by donating or volunteering your time.


Sarah Witty is CEO of The Nappy Collective


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