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4th birthday for Isle of Dogs baby goods exchange club

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:32 05 October 2010

Happy birthday... Exchange Project is four years old!

Happy birthday... Exchange Project is four years old!

A WEEKLY club that lends nearly new’ baby clothes, toys and other equipment to its members living in the shadow of Canary Wharf is celebrating its fourth birthday. Mums meet every week at the Exchange Project to borrow goods and bring items they no longer need

By Mike Brooke

A WEEKLY parents’ club that lends nearly new’ baby clothes, toys and other equipment to its members living in the shadow of London’s Canary Wharf is celebrating its fourth birthday.

Mums meet every week at the Exchange Project on the Isle of Dogs to borrow goods and bring in their own items they no longer need.

They turn up every Tuesday morning at Millwall’s Barkantine Hall in Westferry Road, more for a social gathering than just for babycare necessities.

Regular collections among staff at the big banks and financial businesses at Canary Wharf, their wealthy neighbours’ just up the road, ensures there is always something different on offer.

The Exchange Project was set up with cash from the Isle of Dogs Community Fund in 2006.

It now has 300 members who use the sessions to network’ and meet like-minded people, like Katarzyna Krupecka, a regular since her son was born three years ago and who also now has a five-month-old baby girl.

“At first you are a bit lost when you have a baby,” she admits. “But here you meet other lost’ parents and make friends. I met my best friend here.”

The Isle of Dogs Fund which finances a long list of such community projects was set up itself 20 years ago to bring organisations together in this deprived corner of East London facing encroachment’ from the Docklands redevelopment. It gives out grants to improve facilities and help make ideas like the Exchange Project a reality.


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