Innovative crowdfunding partnership helps children in care carry possessions with dignity

Madlug, a community-based social enterprise in Northern Ireland 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 in funding. As a Youth Worker, he was heartbroken to learn that many children in care had to transport their clothes and other belongings in bin bags. 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.

Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of Santander Business Banking, commented: “Every child should have a safe and secure place to store and transport their possessions. 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, Founder at Madlug, commented: “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.”

The £200,000 Changemaker Fund,, is part of Santander’s flagship community programme, The Discovery Project, which aims to inspire people to have confidence in the future through projects that build skills, grow knowledge and support innovation.

By working together with Crowdfunder, Santander aims to enable entrepreneurs and community groups to tackle social challenges and create positive local impact. Eligible projects seeking funding of up to £20,0001 and focussed on skills, knowledge, innovation and wellbeing that get the crowd’s backing will receive 50 per cent of their funding requirement from Santander to ensure the enterprise reaches its target.

As well as access to the £200,000 matched funding from Santander, projects will benefit from crowdfunding team specialists with education, enterprise and coaching support to unlock further funds and create lasting impacts in communities across the UK.

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Notes to Editors 
1 Under exceptional circumstances, enterprises could be eligible for projects up to £40,000 with 50 per cent of their funding requirement from Santander.

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2017, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c19,500 employees and operates through 826 branches (which includes 61 university branches) and 65 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas, and is among the world’s top banks by market capitalization. At the end of June 2017, Banco Santander had EUR 1.65 trillion in managed funds, 131 million customers, 13,800 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3.6 billion in the first half of 2017, an increase of 24% compared to the same period last year.

About Madlug
Madlug is the bag brand that is helping children in care carry their lives with dignity. The company was founded by Dave Linton in 2015 after he learned that most children in care transport their belongings in a bin bag. For every bag that is purchased, one is given to a child in care. This bag, developed with Health Trusts, is unbranded to avoid stigma and folds away to fit in a sock drawer. Each bag has a label that says “You are incredible” to remind every child that they have value, worth and dignity.
The company also works with Ulster Supported Employment Ltd to offer disabled people and those with health related conditions a chance to join the workforce and earn a competitive wage. 
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