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Alice arrived

Monday 17th October Blog

While at a fostering conference recently I came across a company called Madlug (https://madlug.com). It is a business that sells bags and luggage. The amazing thing they do is that when you buy a bag or piece of luggage they then donate one to a child in care. I got chatting to the guy on the stand – it happened to be the founder of the company – Dave Linton. I can remember feeling pretty impressed on the day with what they are doing.

Later in the day Dave talked about why he set up the company. He felt challenged when he heard that many children in care do not own their own bags or suitcases. When they move placements, their belonging are transported in black bin liners. He was moved by the lack of dignity this gives a child when their belongings are transferred in this way. He talked about the smell of bin bags and how young people associate the trauma of moving with that smell.

He wasn’t just moved by this story, he looked for a solution and then went on to set up Madlug (Make a Difference Luggage). For every bag he sells he makes a difference to another child in care, giving them the dignity, value and worth they deserve.

It reminded me of our first fostering placement. We had a little boy called Henry, just before Alice was placed with us. He came with very little, and what little he brought was transported in a carrier bag. The placement came to an unexpected end when the local authority had one of their own carers available to take him. Although he had only been with us just over a week, he left our home with far more than he came with. It didn’t even cross our mind that we could have bought him a suitcase, and he left our home with his belongings in a couple of shopping bags.

A few weeks later, Alice arrived. She had the clothes on her back and a couple of ill fitting clothes and toys in a carrier bag. She is now with us long-term and she has more luggage than we know what to do with.

I will never forget Henry and his bags of belongings. Thinking of him, I definitely felt challenged when I could see the difference Dave could accomplish through Madlug. I decide I didn’t need new bags, but I could donate. Today I helped two young people in care. I hope I can help promote such a great company and more young people will leave care with dignity and worth.

A Less Ordinary Family Blog