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Hillhouse charity logo

Giving families a helping hand 

For 45 years, Hillhouse have been working with young people and families in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. As a registered charity, the organisation offers a service to individuals who are at risk of financial hardship and poverty.

Families are often referred to the service due to family breakdowns, leaving care, disability, mental health or unemployment. The organisation provides good quality, second-hand children’s clothing free of charge to local community members to assist with these struggles. Any child from birth to age 16 can receive items from the charity, and Hillhouse also makes available mother and baby boxes to women going into hospital and maternity-related products such as prams and cots. 


Funding from the Essentia Foundation is helping to support Hillhouse’s ‘Mother and Baby’ initiative. This project distributes basic hygiene products, clothing and essential goods to new mothers and families in the local area. Demand for the project was identified through consultation with local midwives who saw a trend in expectant mothers enter the labour ward without basic items.

Hillhouse wanted to address this issue and provide women with a stress-free start to motherhood and a secure environment in which local families could thrive. Since April 2020, Hillhouse has worked hard to ensure that every expectant mother can be supported through birth and the post-natal process.  

Referrals, such as a new mother whose child was born six weeks early was able to source vests and sleepsuits that fit her newborn thanks to the support from Hillhouse. Additional families have reported a boost to confidence when entering maternity wards as they no longer feel judged by the baby items they have provided for their child. 

“Times are hard with 3 kids.  I worship everything Hillhouse does for children and families. They are truly amazing.”


Local mother 


Project outcome 

Thanks to the generous support from Essentia Foundation, the impact of the Mother and Baby initiative has been far-reaching. Thus far, 223 boxes have been distributed to pregnant women in the community, and these have helped vulnerable families to adapt to life with a newborn under the stresses and strains of Covid-19.

if you'd like to know more about this project or offer your support, please visit the Hillhouse website.