This is a private, not for profit, scheme set up to provide a handbag containing ladies personal items to women in time of great hardship and/or homelessness. The majority of handbags donated are given directly to a lady in a crisis situation, through a local service provider or charity. Some handbags are sold in order to produce funds to fill the other handbags with the hygiene items.
16th March 2020 - Due to the current situation in regards to coronavirus
Happy Handbag collection points will be closed until further notice.
We have plenty of empty handbags collected pre-virus, along with a small number of
ready made-up Happy Handbags in storage with Big Yellow in Gloucester.
Monetary donations are still very welcome, to buy the toiletries to
continue to fill the bags for urgent Service Provider cases.
We continue to have support from
Big Yellow Self Storage in Eastern Avenue Gloucester
for which we are eternally grateful.
Hopefully this will stop the demise of Happy Handbag
and the support we are able to offer those in crisis though Service Providers.
12/06/2020 - Slowly coming back. Collection Points are not yet open but Happy Handbags are going out to the Service Providers.
Many Service Providers are offering off-site support at the moment.
Looking forward we are desperate for storage/working space.
What would be lovely is a work space to store and make up the bags thus giving me back my home!!
If you think you may be able to help please use the Contact Form at the bottom of this page.
Happy Handbag is able to continue due to the help from Big Yellow Storage, Gloucester !!
Click link bellow to go to Big Yellow Storage Gloucester
A huge big 'Thank You' to Karen Griffiths in Gloucester for keeping our Gloucester
commitments running so smoothly. They know her very well in the Tesco Stores
and Big Yellow, always running around with handbags!!
Please ensure that any handbags donated are clean, tidy, undamaged and fit for purpose!
I have hundreds of bags waiting to be filled so if you can put some basic hygiene products with any donation
it would help greatly
A message from a Support Worker, Nelson Trust Gloucester - August 2019
(A homeless client had just been found accommodation and needed some help)
.................I’ve just come back in to the office & have seen all the amazing pieces you have dropped by! Thank you so so much!! That’s going to make such a difference on my lady’s place & make it much more homely..........
Message from Nelson Trust - Swindon - 2017
.....................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 Happy Handbag scheme started in Bristol with a view to expanding our area as more donations of handbags are received. We now cover the Bristol. Gloucester and Swindon areas. 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.
Help Bristols Homeless - Help Bristol’s Homeless (CIC) is a non-profit, social enterprise with a mission to change the face of homelessness in Bristol.. Many complex factors can lead to homelessness, and while it is true that these issues need to be resolved to keep people off the street, we believe that the priority must be to get people into safe, stable and comfortable accommodation. From there, we can help them to improve their own lives and reach their potential.
HVDV - Chippenham - Helping Victims of Domestic Violence.
Link House - Bristol - provides a safe place for women in mental health crisis to stay. Women can stay at the house for up to four weeks.
Refresh - Bedminster, Bristol - a charity based in East St., South Bristol (UK) reaching out to the poor and in the community with a variety of different support strategies. Their vision is to bring spiritual and social transformation to the area and to bring positive input and improvement to the lives of the people of Bedminster and South Bristol.
South Gloucestershire Mental Health Services Avon and Wiltshire Partnership NHS Trust - Kingswood, Bristol.
Our motto: you matter, we care Our values: passion, respect, integrity, diversity, excellence
Sirona, Bristol and South Glos - We provide you and your community with a range of high quality specialist health and social care services.
BGSW - Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire - Community Rehabilitation (Probation Services.)
Medaille Trust - Wootton Bassett - The Medaille trust was established in 2006 and aim to help the victims of Human Trafficking in the UK.
AVA Recovery4All - Bristol - ARA provides a range of high quality housing and support for people in Bristol in recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction.
Blond Angel Street Team - Bristol - a non profit Facebook group - who collect supplies and provide food and drinks to homeless people in Bristol
The Junction Project - Speedwell, Bristol - an accommodation-based drug and alcohol service.
Currently monetary funding is very limited. Happy Handbag is happy to accept donations of money and all monies donated will be used in the promoting of/running of/buying of personal hygiene items for the scheme. There is a 'donate' button at the foot of the page,
Please also take a look at our Sponsors page to see a list of very kind people and organisations who donate to Happy Handbag, Sack, Bowl and Home.
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. Or why not have a look at HAPPY BOWL? Or simply use the donate button to help with much needed funding.
Or you can use our 'DONATE' button at the bottom of this page to help us buy the products for our empty handbags
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.
As at 05/08/2020 - 2201 Happy Handbags have given out to Service Providers plus 1118 Happy's
(Happy's are a Happy Bags of clothing or Happy Home - bedding, Happy Bowl - kitchen start-up packs etc!!
AND a babies high chairs, cots. cot-bed and Moses Baskets plus many packs of nappies!)
Organisation Place Happy Handbags Happy Bags/Home/Bowls Total
- Family Haven Gloucester 177 239 416
- City Mission/Food Bank Gloucester 47 47 94
(inc. Food Banks in F.O.D.)
- Green Square/GDASS Gloucester 12 50 62
- HDVD Chippenham 11 31 42
- Missing Link/House Bristol 184 37 221
- Help Bristol's Homeless Bristol 63 63
- Refresh Bedminster 22 22
- Mental Health Ptnrs 5 5
- Sirona Bristol & S,Glos 17 17
- BGSW All HHB areas 24 24
- Medaille Trust Wootton Bassett 20 1 21
- Baby Bank Network Fishponds Bristol 6 6
- ARA - Recovery4all Bristol 16 16
- Blond Angel Street Team Bristol 6 6
- Nelson Trust** Various locations 1597 696 2293!
- The Junction Project Speedwell Bristol 11 11
GRAND RUNNING TOTAL 2201 1118 3319
** !! Nelson Trust cover a large area (Gloucester; Swindon; Bristol; Bridgewater) 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 TO THE END OF 2019
Happy Handbags 2040 Happy Bags/Sacks/ Equipment 1016 GRAND TOTAL 3056
TOTALS TO THE END OF 2018
Happy Handbags 1320 Happy Bags/Sacks/Bowls/Equipment 688 GRAND TOTAL 2008
TOTALS FOR THE END OF 2017
Happy Handbags 615 Happy Bags/Sacks 387 GRAND TOTAL 1002
There are many more Happy Handbags in the pipe-line being assembled!
I HAVE MANY, MANY HANDBAGS WAITING AND WANTING TO BE BE FILLED
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 alcohol any medicines or medication
Happy Handbag and Happy Bag is not a registered charity, however we have taken the first steps by becoming a
'Not For Profit Organisation'. 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.
If you would like to make a donation the Donate button takes you to PayPal where the product would be 'donation'