British business Madlug, Make a Difference Luggage, has donated hundreds of travel bags to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, as part of their ‘Coming Into Care' packs for each child or young person living in care in the region. These sturdy, stylish bags help them keep all their personal items together in one safe and secure place, making a big difference to a child being moved around the care system, which more often than not, can be a stressful and challenging time.
Madlug was launched as a business in 2015 by former youth worker Dave Linton, after he was heartbroken to learn that many of the UK’s 90,000 children in care still had to carry their life’s belongings in basic black bin bags. Dave’s innovative, ‘buy one (bag) give one away’ (to a child in care) approach, that is at the heart of Madlug’s business model, has raised awareness of the value and worth of children in care with every purchase. Madlug also work tirelessly alongside Health Trusts and charities across the UK, donating over 20,000 bags to children in care over the years.
Sonia Jenkins, Transformation and Improvement Manager for Southend-on-Sea Council said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Madlug who have generously contributed to our ‘coming Into Care Packs’. These packs were the idea of Looked After Children and Care leavers who told us that having a bag of their own filled with things they thought would be helpful to them to adjust to coming into foster care. The packs have been distributed to children and young people coming into care form April.”
Children and young people in care are more at risk during the period of coming into foster care. At this time when communities are experiencing additional pressure due to Covid-19, it is more important than ever to ensure children who have to come into care have the very best start. Furthermore, the pandemic means thousands of UK children in care are now also having reduced contact with their birth families and siblings, with most already feeling lost in the system and completely isolated.
Dave Linton, founder of Madlug said, “We count it a privilege to support the wonderful work of caring for children and young people in Southend-on-Sea. We hope that a little gesture of a bag helps each child and young person know they are loved and valued.”
Lara Fry, Advanced Practitioner for Southend-on-Sea Council said, “Having these bags to hand gives the children and young people a little bit more dignity when having to leave home or move placement/accommodation setting. Workers can easily access these bags in emergencies or have them in their cars so they are readily available. There is no taking away that immediate trauma a child will experience when being removed from their family, however we can all do our best in making the experience a little more comforting for them, these bags along side the coming into care packs will help assist with that.”
Ruth Baker, Head of Service and Principal Social Worker, said “We’re delighted that a local business has shown such care and commitment to the children and young people of Southend in such a practical way. We have already heard from children that these bags have made a difficult time more positive for them.”
To find out more information about Madlug please visit: www.madlug.com
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