College’s Christmas handbag appeal

Nicola Thomson-Dewey (left) with Sue Tomlinson.

Nicola Thomson-Dewey (left) with Sue Tomlinson.

We continue to support The Love Grace handbag appeal this Christmas by donating handbags and toiletry supplies to the IDAS women’s refuge.

The Love Grace handbag appeal is a charity campaign set up in memory of 21-year-old Grace Millane who was tragically murdered whilst travelling in New Zealand in 2018. The campaign combines Grace’s love of handbags with a legacy carried out in her name to end violence towards women.

Catering Curriculum Leader, Martyn Hollingsworth, whose niece was friends with Grace at university, started an initiative with Head of Learning for Living and Work, Nicola Thomson-Dewey. The initiative saw them collect donations of ladies’ handbags filled with toiletries, luxury items and other essentials which were then donated to help those most in need at women’s refuges. Nicola has continued this initiative collecting items for donation again this Christmas.

“All the useful and personal items that mean so much more to a woman who has not had anyone think of her for a long time.”

Sue Tomlinson, a IDAS Support Worker, said: “It’s fantastic that Barnsley College is taking part in the initiative and supporting the campaign. The women are thrilled at how lovely the bags are and can be quite taken aback, they see inside and they can get quite tearful that someone put such thought into a gift. All the useful and personal items that mean so much more to a woman who has not had anyone think of her for a long time. The bags Barnsley College and the community have donated will go a long way towards making a difference. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Nicola added: “When someone is escaping a violent relationship or finds themselves in a difficult situation, the last thing they may think about is these types of items. These bags will have such a positive impact just by showing that there are people out there who care. This act of kindness can be beneficial to everyone involved. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has donated and a special mention to Thompsons Solicitors in Sheffield, who donated over 30 handbags this year.”

Donations of bags (filled or empty) and new, unused toiletry items (such as toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, sanitary products, tissues, moisturiser, lip balm, make-up, hair brushes, facewash or soap) can be dropped off at The Open Kitchen or Crumbs Café at the Old Mill Lane campus, Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2AX from Tuesday 4 January between 8.30am and 2.30pm, excluding weekends. It’s a perfect way to donate unwanted Christmas gifts.

Last updated: 17th December 2021

Originally posted on: 17th December 2021