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Lying in Charity

What is the Lying in Charity?

The Lying-In Charity was established in 1796. The charity was initially set up to 'provide extra comforts and benefits before, during and after confinement' for residents of Colchester Borough. The charity will consider giving grants to expectant mums or new parents for essential items of equipment/services which directly benefit them or their baby, when they have no other means of obtaining these goods.

The charity is run by Trustees which include council officers and representatives from local agencies who work with expectant mums and new parents, and is administered by Colchester Borough Council.

Who can apply?

Applicants must:

  • Be residents of Colchester Borough
  • Be 26 weeks or more pregnant or have a baby up to six months old
  • Be receiving welfare benefits or be on a low wage similar to benefit rates


  • Not have savings in excess of £500
  • Not have any other means of getting the goods they need (including having applied for Essential Living Fund and Maternity Grant)
  • Have support from a health visitor, midwife, doctor, other similar person or local agency

What can you apply for?

Essential items up to the value of £250.00. The items must directly benefit the baby or main carer at the time of application - these may include a cot, pushchair or feeding equipment. The trustees will look at each case individually and assess whether the application meets the above criteria, and make a decision on which items to approve. This may involve ordering new equipment or providing nearly-new items.

How to apply?

Applicants must be referred by a relevant supporting agency, who know/are currently working with the applicant, and can confirm the application details. There is a simple application form that must be completed in full in order to be considered by the Trustees. Incomplete application forms will be returned to the referrer.

Contact: To find out more about the Lying-In Charity, to request an application form or discuss an application, or if you are interested in donating to the charity, please contact Yovone Cook, Community Enabling Officer on tel: 01206 282965 or email