By Nicola Lawson from the West Yorkshire Sling Library
I really hate the money bit of running a sling library, I hate setting fees and asking for cash, but I have gotten used to it as I have seen how vital it is to keep the service going – to help people carry safely and comfortably for as long as it is useful to them, their children and their lifestyle. I do not charge anyone to come to sling library sessions, or to get help and advice at drop in or our baby group style sling social sessions. It is important to me that people of all incomes and in all situations can access carrying help and support when they need it.
It is to this end that I have set up The West Yorkshire Sling Library’s pay it forward scheme. A long title for a simple idea, which is merely several buttons in a box. All that needs to happen is for someone to feel happy with the advice they have gotten from the library – perhaps we have given them the skills needed to use a carrier they had already bought and given up on, or helped them get several more months out of something they thought was too small. When they feel happy, they often like to make a donation, and that is when the little buttons come into play.
The option is open to everyone who visits the library to buy a rental, and put a little button in the box. The box is then open to everyone at sling library sessions – if they feel they really need it for whatever reason, they can take a little button and use it to pay for their rental, no questions asked. Pay it forward – the library helps all kinds of people in all kinds of situations at a vulnerable time of life, we do not discriminate against any of the parents and children with various impairments or disabilities that use our service – this system allows us not to discriminate based on the size of someone’s purse. My many thanks to the families who have put a button in the box so far, may there be many more.