Local charity Off the Fence has received donations of handbags and toiletries for the homeless women of Brighton and Hove.
Staff from the coffee shop at South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks popped in to the Hove office and surprised charity head Paul Young with the items. The affectionately named ‘Old Bag Campaign’ initiative was sparked by an idea from Coffee Shop Manager Karin Reinger, after speaking to Paul and discovering that the majority of donations received to the charity are for men only. “Often the women go without vital toiletries, especially feminine hygiene products” says Karin, “So we came up with the idea of asking our customers to donate their old handbags and toiletries to go with them, with the idea that homeless women on the street could be handed a bag containing these items.”
South Downs Nurseries is running the campaign throughout the summer, and has been overwhelmed by the response from its customers. Marketing assistant Rebecca Houghton-Knapp commented “As a female it’s hard to imagine going without items as simple as sanitary products. We set up the bin thinking we’d be able to take a few bags down to Off the Fence, but we’ve been so inundated with donations we’re emptying it nearly every day!”
EDIT: Thank you to every one of our customers and staff who have donated so far! We have plenty of handbags to keep us going for now, but we still desperately need more donations of sanitary products to fill them. There's still lots of time left to donate!
The Hove-based charity has recently opened its new shower van, partially funded by both Tates Garden Centres and Tates Cars.
Pictured: Coffee Shop Assistant Katie George with Day Centre Volunteer Charlie Davies and Charity Head Paul Young from Off the Fence.