From a very young age I have always had a deep desire to help people who are in need. As a child, this was as simple as looking out for those who seemed to have no friends, and as an adult it involved working as a youth worker for over 20 years. Over the last few years it has moved to raising the value, worth and dignity of children in care in across the UK.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

In 2014, I was attending an introduction to fostering course with my wife, where I was shown a video of a young girl who was in care. The young girl made this statement, “When we move the local authorities don’t provide suitcases, sometimes foster carers loan us a suitcase but quite often our belongs are moved in black plastic bin bags…and we lose our dignity”. I was heartbroken and left with a desire to do something to fix it.

After much research into the size of the problem and having looked at a number of possible solutions, I started Madlug (Make A Difference Luggage). Madlug is the first company of its kind, working alongside Health Trusts across the UK by donating high quality bags to children in care with every purchase made.

As reflect on my journey in starting Madlug, I am reminded of how much I have learnt from my own mother. My mum is one of the most caring people I know who will do whatever is needed to help people. For example, I remember her befriending a struggling alcoholic colleague and regularly bringing her home for dinner. Her many examples of care has been infectious.

One of the many highlights on the Madlug journey is receiving emails from parents thanking us for providing the opportunity to teach their children about other children who are less fortunate. It has often resulted in their child choosing a Madlug Backpack as a school bag. They love to carry them with pride knowing that they are helping another child. When I get these emails in my inbox I can’t help but think back to the part my mum has played in my story.

As parents we have a huge part to play in helping our children develop their ‘make a difference' stories. They are never too young, and it’s never too late to start. One simple way is to buy your child their next school bag from Madlug and your child could make a difference by giving a child in care dignity.

Dave Linton

Madlug Founder

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