By Baby Blogger Kate Richards
One of the really useful resources for parents that I've come across is the National Childbirth Trust, now usually just known as the NCT. It's the UK's largest charity for parents. The first time I gave it a second thought was during pregnancy, when I considered doing their antenatal course. However, the local NHS sessions were so good I decided there was no need (plus you have to pay!)
Their website is a pretty comprehensive source of information for parents, but what they do very well is run UK-wide second hand sales.
In their words, "NCT Nearly New Sales are a haven for cash-strapped parents, offering a brilliant alternative to trawling the high street for pricey baby products."
Items for sale range from pushchairs and cots to toys and clothes (for pregnant mums, babies and children). Their standard is high, with most items looking as good as new but selling for about a third of the price.
What's more, the sales help prevent more than 300 tonnes of baby clothes and equipment going to landfill each year.
NCT fundraiser Timothy Todhunter says: "There are so many benefits to NCT Nearly New Sales. Some parents sell items they no longer need, others pick up a bargain for the kids - all while helping to preserve the environment for their future and supporting NCT to boot."
Although parents can make some cash by selling their own things at a sale, the organisers keep a proportion of the proceeds (sometimes up to 70 per cent), so bigger items could probably raise more on eBay.
Members of the charity get first dibs at the sales, as they are allowed in about 15 minutes before the rest. The word on the street is, unless you're a member, it's best to arrive around two hours before the sale and be prepared to queue.