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5th Jul, 2022

Stratford mayor offers a helping handbag

HELPING handbags are being collected by the mayor of Stratford to help homeless and vulnerable women in the region.

Victoria Alcock is spearheading the ‘Handbags for the Homeless’ campaign which has stemmed from Leamington homeless charity Helping Hands.

People fill bags with items such as soap, toothpaste and brushes, wet wipes and shampoo, and sanitary products, which are then distributed to people in need.

The charity first contacted Coun Alcock to serve as a collection point in the town a few years ago and she happily accepted.

The mum-of-three said the request came around the time an article she read about homeless women shoplifting for sanitary items, made her think about everyday essentials, often taken for granted.

She added: “If someone can help make someone feel better, even with something as simple as allowing them to brush their teeth – it can help their mental health. “Anyone of us could be in that position at any point, be it a fire, job loss, or fleeing from domestic violence.

“One of the most important things to me is my handbag, it has everything I need, all my important and valuable items and information.

“If I was to end up somewhere without handbag, I’d feel lost. Everyone should have something to call their own.”

And this year, thanks to the generosity of the community, the mayor has some 80 bags waiting to be distributed, compared to 30 the first time round.

The bags will be distributed to homeless organisations including Helping Hands, St Basil’s, and the Stratford District Council-run homeless Link Project.

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