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College Seeks Donations for the Love Grace Handbag Appeal

Photograph: Head of Learning for Living and Work, Nicola Thomson-Dewey. 

Barnsley College’s Learning for Living and Work (LFLW) department is seeking handbags and unused toiletries for the Love Grace charity.

Love Grace is a charity that has the mission ‘to empower victims of domestic abuse’ and is run by Hannah O’Callaghan OBE and her aunt, Gillian Millane OBE. In memory of Grace Millane, who was murdered on the eve of her 22nd birthday.

The College are working with the Love Grace charity for another year, after collecting a record number of 500 handbags across the last three years, with hopes to grow this year.

Hannah said: “We cannot thank the college enough for your support. Nicola has been instrumental in setting up and running the Love Grace handbag appeal at Barnsley College over the last couple of years.”

Hannah said: “Without support from volunteers and donations we wouldn’t be able to reach as many people as we do. These bags are a symbol of empowerment and a chance to encourage women in need to believe in themselves as they matter. We think of each bag as a smile on a face.

“If people are having a spring clean, we accept used handbags, purses, scarves, costume jewellery etc. We also accept unused toiletries, make up and gift sets. So, you don’t have to fill a bag, just donate anything you have to spare.”

Items that cannot be donated include sharp items, sanitary products, pain killers, razors, alcohol, money, food, contraceptives, as well as any opened or damaged products.

The public can also contribute by organising a collection of handbags within their network, printing the Love Grace Handbag Appeal flyer to hand out or sharing as much as they can through social media and emails.

The College’s Learning for Living and Work Head of Department, Nicola Thomson Dewey, is leading the campaign at the College. She added: “An act of kindness goes a long way, and we hope the bags and the essentials donated can help the women in need.

“We are proud that we can partner with and offer support to this great cause and encourage everyone to get involved by donating what they can.”

“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. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated.”

A recent donation the college received was a handful of bags which included a card addressed to Nicola. It read, “You’re doing a great job in trying to help out these vulnerable women.”

Donations can be dropped off at the College’s Crumbs Café, Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2YW, Monday to Friday between 08.00am –14.00pm.  For any queries about donations, please contact Nicola Thomson Dewey on 01226 216 216.

Last updated: 19th April 2024

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