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Bags of support for Ipswich’s homeless young women

18 March 2021

Young women living at Ipswich Homelessness Supported Housing are thrilled to receive a donation of handbags filled with essentials for their safety and little luxuries, thanks to the generosity of local domestic abuse charity.

A young woman is excited to receive a free handbag filled with goodies from a local charity.Handbags filled with goodies bring joy to homeless young women in Ipswich.

The team at Ipswich Homeless Supported Housing provide accommodation and personalised support for homeless and vulnerable young people and adults aged 16 to 65. Residents are supported to get back on their feet and break the cycle of homelessness by gaining the skills needed to live independently. 

Staff at the supported housing service also work closely with other local agencies and charities, to ensure residents get specialist support when needed. One partner charity is Lighthouse Women’s Aid, which provides emotional support to young women who have experienced domestic abuse, helping them to rebuild their confidence and self-esteem, as well as promoting positive relationships. 

Lighthouse Women’s Aid donated five handbags which were originally given to them by the Love Grace Handbag Appeal, a project set up by the mother and a friend of 22-year-old Grace Millane, who was tragically murdered while backpacking in New Zealand. The appeal has so far donated over 7,000 preloved handbags containing personal care items and treats to women who’ve experienced domestic abuse. 

Many women who flee domestic abuse only have time to pack for their children but not for themselves, so the handbags are designed to provide everyday essentials such as soap, toothpaste and wipes, but also some much-needed luxuries including nail varnish, sunglasses, and jewellery. The Lighthouse Women’s Aid team also added a personal safety alarm to each of the bags, to help keep the young women safe.

Candace Hockley, Local Service Manager at Ipswich Homelessness Supported Housing, said: “We’re delighted to have a longstanding partnership with Lighthouse Women’s Aid to support our residents, some of whom have previously experienced domestic abuse, to help them build positive relationships both now and in the future.

We’re so grateful for the support we continue to receive from Lighthouse Women’s Aid and we’d like to thank everyone who has kindly donated to the Love Grace Handbag Appeal. 

Candace Hockley, Local Service Manager

The gift of the handbags has been the icing on the cake, as the residents have been absolutely thrilled with the goodies inside them. The personal safety alarms are also greatly appreciated, especially given the ongoing public discussions around violence against women and girls. 

We’re so grateful for the support we continue to receive from Lighthouse Women’s Aid and we’d like to thank everyone who has kindly donated to the Love Grace Handbag Appeal. It’s been wonderful for the young women we support to know that others are thinking of them.”

For more information about Sanctuary Supported Living’s supported housing services for homeless and vulnerable young people, visit our young people page, read residents’ stories or search for a young persons’ service near you.

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