A Fife charity which helps women and children in need across the Kingdom and Tayside, is appealing for donations so it can begin helping local men who are homeless or suffering financial hardship.
Bags of Kindness founder and teacher Nicki Bradwell began collecting unwanted handbags in early 2016 after seeing a social media post asking people to, “fill a handbag with essential personal items and next time you see a homeless person give it to her”.
At the time Nicki was working as a volunteer for the homeless charity Eagles Wings Trust in Dundee and also at Gilven House homeless hostel in Glenrothes. When she became a teacher, Nicki decided she could still support the work of these organisations and asked some friends if they would be interested in helping to fill handbags. This soon grew to 85 women and a supportive following of over 300 people on Facebook.
Over the last few years Nicki and her team of volunteers - who have been give the use of space in Stephen Gethins’ constituency office in Cupar to store, sort and pack bags - have helped hundreds of women, filling bags for them and their children. Bags of Kindness now works with 13 different organisations across the area including Fife, Dundee and Edinburgh Women’s Aid, Bethany Christian Trust, Methil and Edinburgh; Barnardos, Kirkcaldy; Homes4Good, Cupar; Storehouse St Andrews, CATH (Churches Action for Homeless) and Owls (Onestop Women’s Learning Service), both Perth.
Now, Nicki has turned her attention to ‘man bags’ and is appealing for donations of toiletries and other essential items.
She said: “I saw this need when I was helping with the Eagles Wings Trust mobile soup kitchen in Dundee. Toiletries and other essentials make a huge difference to people who are homeless or have no home of their own.”
Stephen Gethins MP said: “What Nicki and her friends are doing is amazing and I have been very happy to offer them space in the office. If any organisations know of people who would benefit from Bags of Kindness then please get in touch.”
Donations can be handed in to Nicki directly via the Bags of Kindness Facebook page – www.facebook.com/bagsofkindnessuk/ –
and at the constituency office of Stephen Gethins MP, 38-40 Bonnygate, Cupar, KY15 4LD.