New lease on life for cots

People with unwanted cots are being encouraged to donate them to a new cot bank initiative aimed at preventing sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI). 

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Māori Health and Child Health teams have partnered with PlaceMakers, EIT and Habitat for Humanity who are donating their time and resources toward the initiative, which will see unwanted cots renovated to meet safety standards then gifted to whānau and families in need. 

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Public Health Nurse Manager, Liz Read, says helping to reduce barriers for whānau, with limited or no means to provide a safe sleep environment once babies had outgrown a wahakura/pēpi-pod, was behind the initiative. 

In 2010 the DHB began funding a pēpi pod initiative and in 2016 wahakura (flax sleeping pods) were added to the programme with a supply of 35 per month to families with newborns to support safe sleep. 

Ms Read says the intended health outcomes by extending its safe sleep initiatives to providing cots for older pēpi were: 

  • A reduction in preventable deaths of older pēpi due to SUDI
  • Improved access to safe sleep devices for older pēpi, and
  • Support for disadvantaged and at-risk whānau.

“Some families are struggling to provide these basic needs and those that meet our eligibility criteria will qualify for these cots,” she said. 

“The Cot Bank initiative has had generous support from community businesses and providers willing to support this initiative.  EIT has offered to refurbish donated cots at no cost. PlaceMakers has offered supplies needed to fix cots and Habitat for Humanity has offered to store the cots.” 

People who have second hand cots they wish to donate to the cause can drop them off at Habitat for Humanity between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, at 401 Eastbourne Street West, Hastings. 

Each cot ready will come with a mattress, mattress protector and bedding.


Pictured: Child Healthy Housing team members Melissa West (left) and Rawinia Edwards with a refurbished cot

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