Friday, 22 October 2010

Drop off - London

Hi All,

Firstly, our initial donations are being collected by Refuge volunteers from me next week.

If anyone would like an address for posting/dropping off just email and let me know.  For those of you with bulky items that cannot be posted/a lot of goods - I am still waiting for Women's Aid to advise re: coordinating the rest of the UK.  Please keep stashing the goods and thanks for being patient!

Thank you for all of your emails and support - we have collected a large amount of goods this week from people wishing to remain anonymous - you know who you are and your help is really appreciated.

We have a new website being built and lots of offers of further support - in the meantime keep checking back - will try and get pictures up of our first donations as they get packed up - it's good to see everything coming to fruition.


Thanks everyone!!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Collection Update

I have now had contact with volunteers from Refuge who are able to collect from my house in the first instance - if anyone has anything they would like to send please email me and I will give you a posting address.

If you have heavy goods and would prefer to wait until you can meet up/deliver somewhere closer to your home - please bear with us.  Refuge have recommended Womens Aid as another group for us to work with as they have a wider reach and should be able to accommodate what looks like being a large amount of product!

Will update further when Womens Aid have confirmed logistics.

Many thanks for you patience all - it'll be worth it in the end!

Caroline

Thursday, 7 October 2010

An overwhelming response

Wow.

I could try for something more eloquent but really... wow - we have been inundated with offers of help and support over the last 4 days.

The response is overwhelming and much appreciated.  We have had emails from all corners - from as far afield as the US to some really moving ones from women who spent time in shelters as children...

A few things are becoming clear - we have tapped into something that women in particular have really responded to - and we definitely have scope to make this a long-term initiative.

I wanted to update on a few things and how we foresee this moving forward at this stage:

Firstly, CONFIDENTIALITY.
If you have contacted us and shared stories - please know that we will keep that confidence - always - and pass you on to people who can help you further if at all possible.
Also - for those of you who supply us with your most personal information - the same applies - your contact information will not leave us without your prior consent - and will only ever go to those who are collecting goods from you. That is all.

Volunteers - by the nature of the group we are currently dealing with - we will be dealing closely with volunteers - which means that things may not always happen at the speed we would like - please continue to be patient with your offers of products and time.

So where are we now? Refuge are organising how best to deal with what we have to offer - but they HAVE said that they have collection points all over the country, so what I propose is this:

If you have very kindly offered your help and support can you please email us with your locality and your nearest big town in the subject line - i.e. Fulham - Central London. In the body of your email please list your full address and telephone contact number. This way we can pass your details on to the Refuge volunteer in your area and they can contact you directly to arrange transfer of goods.
This will hopefully make things happen fairly quickly and prevent the need for big postage fees for those that have a lot to send.
Equally - if you would prefer to send your product to us directly for dispersal in Central London please ask for our posting address in your email.

We have been asked for leaflets to distribute to companies/schools/neighbours for 'Cosmetic Drives' and are working on these.

In the last two days we have had offers of support from Shop Direct (very.co.uk and Littlewoods group), HQHair.com and lookfantastic.com - all of whom have offered to collect product internally and work with us.

If there is any more information you would like please do not hesitate to contact me at caroline@giveandmakeup.com.

We intend to add a Supporters/Sponsors page to this site - if you would rather we did not name you and thank you publicly please let us know in your email.

Thank you does not seem an adequate response to how you have all reacted. Please know that every single item, however small, is appreciated and will find its way to someone who needs it badly.

Thank you. For your patience, time and support, thank you.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Planting the seed ... and a call to arms!

I'll try and be brief and to the point.

This week I read two articles that seemed to have been placed in front of me for a reason.

The first said that the average woman in the US uses 12 products before she leaves the house.  Embarrassingly, a quick mental count put mine over 20.  I know I'm not alone.

I came across the other following a link on twitter - it was about a new movement in the States providing ' beauty and personal hygiene products as well as education and resources to women nationwide whose current situation does not allow them to afford these little luxuries.".

My first thought was that I have a lot of products  - who can I give them to?  After doing some research I came across the website of Refuge.  After passports and vital documentation, the thing they advise you to try and take with you when leaving a violent situation is toiletries.  Toiletries I can do.  We can do.

I made some phone calls, mentioned the idea to friends and was inspired by their responses.  I contacted Refuge.

So. Our aim is to collect as much as possible from the lists on the next page and get it to the women and children who so badly need it.

The amount of goodwill and pledges of support we've received through word of mouth alone in such a small length of time is amazing.

It would be nice to have help from all parts of the UK.  If you feel you could help in any please do let us know.

For further info please email me here.

Thank you!