Madlug partnership helps give children dignity

Madlug founder and MD Dave Linton
Madlug founder and MD Dave Linton

A Lurgan-based social enterprise which helps children in care carry their personal possessions with dignity by providing them with a specially designed bag, has received £10,000 of matched funding from Santander’s innovative Changemaker Fund.

The Fund was launched at the end of 2016 as part of a pioneering collaboration between Santander and rewards-based crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder.

The programme is designed to help social enterprises, small charities and community groups deliver projects that improve communities and help disadvantaged people to have confidence in the future.

Madlug was founded in 2015 by Dave Linton with just £480. As a Youth Worker, he was shocked to learn that many children in care had nothing more than bin bags to transport their clothes and other belongings.

The company sells backpacks and luggage online, with a ‘one for one’ approach in which one care bag is donated to a child in care for each bag bought.

The bag, developed with health trusts, is unbranded to avoid any stigma and when empty can be folded to fit neatly into a sock drawer.

The additional funding from Santander will allow a further 1,000 bags to be created, as demand for the Madlug backpacks and luggage has exceeded their supply.

In turn, it will support further employment for disabled people and those with health related conditions who make the bags as part of Madlug’s partnership with social enterprise Usel.

“Every child should have a safe and secure place to store and transport their possessions,” said Sue Douthwaite, MD of Santander business banking.

“We are thrilled to be able to support Madlug in its admirable mission of ensuring that children feel dignified and valued, and hope that the funding enables it to create thousands more bags for children in need.

“We have no doubt that these bags have the potential to make an important difference to children around the country.”

Dave Linton said: “No child should carry his or her life in a bin bag, so receiving this support will really make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children in care. We hope that our work helps them realise they are valued.”