This is a private new scheme set up to provide a handbag containing ladies personal items to women in time of great hardship and/or homelessness. The handbag you donate is given directly to a lady in a crisis situation, through a local service provider or charity.
Message from Nelson Trust - Swindon
.....................SG is a young woman having her first baby. She is single, on benefits and struggles due to her mental health. SG was given a baby boy bag whilst pregnant. She was most grateful to us and built on the items in the bag, nesting away until the birth of her son. SG and baby are doing well and thank Happy Handbags for the help and support given at a time when it was very needed. Thank you Happy Handbag lady, from all of the staff and, most importantly, all of the women at Nelson Trust Women’s Centre in Swindon." 25/3/2017.............
...................Whilst delivering to Nelson Trust one of the Social Workers came to find me to pass on 'thanks' from one of her clients who had received a Happy Handbag. She chose which bag she liked and was overwhelmed with the thought that people do care and they wanted us to know how much this means to them. A thank you from me too to all of you who have donated, especially when the bags are filled with products etc. Give yourselves a pat on the back. You are making a positive difference to peoples lives. 24/5/2017.............
The South Glos Show Supports Happy Handbags
Look who came to visit us at the stand - Joel Dommett! Thank you Joel!
The Happy Handbag scheme started in Bristol with a view to expanding our area as more donations of handbags are received. Currently the donated handbags are being given to:-
Missing Link - As well as mental health support services we provide domestic abuse support services and support for victims of rape and sexual abuse
Gloucester City Mission - are a registered charity working with the homeless and other marginalised groups within the city of Gloucester and the local area.
Nelson Trust Women's Centre - Swindon, Gloucester, Bristol and Bridgewater - a safe, women-only space where a wide range of problems relating to offending, substance misuse, safety and well-being can be addressed in a warm and supportive environment. Now up and running in Bridgewater!
Family Haven - Gloucester - The Family Haven is a day centre for vulnerable families in Gloucestershire with children under five. We have been providing our services to disadvantaged families for over 27 years, making sure no young family is left isolated and alone, helping them take control of their chaotic lives.
HVDV - Chippenham - Helping Victims of Domestic Violence
At Happy Handbag we do to take donated handbags without contents, however some of these will be sold to gain funds to fill other empty donated handbags. Currently monetary funding is very limited. Happy Handbag is also happy to accept monetary funding and all monies donated will be used in the promoting of/running of/buying of personal hygiene items for the scheme.
If you don't have a handbag to donate, or would prefer to donate a Happy Bag with contents of your choice this, too, would be very acceptable.
THIS SCHEME IS NEW AND WITH CHALLENGES, ESPECIALLY ARRANGING THE COLLECTION OF DONATED HANDBAGS. Also I have many empty handbags donated which are waiting to be filled. Please also ensure any donated bags do not have broken handles, or sticky sweets stuck to the lining as these bags are of no use.
YOU CAN NOW TAKE YOUR DONATED HANDBAG TO TESCO EXTRA in Yate and Quedgeley where the stores have donation points.
ASKIM CLINIC, 30 Newport Street, Swindon Old Town
A log is kept of all Happy Handbags and Happy Bags for trackability and traceability based on the donation point.
Of the 1554 entries on the register 1111 Happy Handbags or Happy Bags** have been given out to Service Providers (Bags of toiletries are divided out amongst the handbags so these 2 numbers will never be equal).
I HAVE MANY, MANY HANDBAGS WAITING AND WANTING TO BE BE FILLED
** A Happy Bag is often a Happy Sack of clothing or bedding etc!!
As at 12/02/2018 - 689 HHB have given out to Service Providers plus 422 Happy Bags / sacks:
Organisation Place Happy Handbags Happy Bags Total
Family Haven Gloucester 82 68 150
Gloucester City Mission/Food Bank 47 42 89
HDVD Chippenham 11 31 42
Missing Link Bristol 57 16 73
Nelson Trust** Various locations 492 265 757 !!
GRAND RUNNING TOTAL 689 422 1111
** !! Nelson Trust cover a large area and offer many services to women in crisis hence the large percentage going to them.
Nelson Trust also work very closely with Working Links - rehabilitation services are offered in Wales and the South West as part of Transforming Rehabilitation. (They with offenders who have either been sentenced by the courts to a community or suspended sentence order, or released on licence from prison to serve the rest of their sentence in the community.) Happy Handbags are also given out here.
TOTALS FOR THE END OF 2017
No! the total was 1002 Happy Handbags/Happy Bags/Happy Sacks were given out - on auditing I found I missed 4!!
Of the 1414 entries on the register 998 Happy Handbags or Happy Bags** were given out to Service Providers (Bags of toiletries are divided out amongst the handbags so these 2 numbers will never be equal).
I HAVE MANY, MANY HANDBAGS WAITING AND WANTING TO BE BE FILLED
There are many more Happy Handbags in the pipe-line being assembled!
IF YOU ARE A CHARITY, CHARITABLE SCHEME OR SERVICE PROVIDER AND WOULD BENEFIT FROM THE HAPPY HANDBAG SCHEME PLEASE MESSAGE BELOW AND WE WILL SEE WHAT WE CAN DO!
There are certain items that may not be suitable for Happy Bags, for various reasons. If these items are found amongst the donations they will be bagged up separately for distribution at the discretion of the service provider.
These items are:
Knives scissors razors ( aerosol cans ) alcohol any medicines or medication
Happy Handbag and Happy Bag is not a registered charity. HAPPY HANDBAGS and HAPPY BAGS are given, free of charge, to Service Providers to give out, at their discretion, freely to anyone in a crisis situation, or in real need.
Happy Handbag is a privately run scheme with full transparency and traceability. The Service Providers receiving these bags are charities.