As 2017 draws to a close we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you. You are the hero in this story, it is through your support of Madlug that the lives of young people in care are changed. Your belief in these young people is giving them a voice and helping them create a new legacy. In this blog we want to give you a snapshot of 2017 and fill you in on some of our plans for 2018.

2017 l The Impact

In 2017 over 2,500 Giving Bags have been donated to young people in care. This has been made up of sales of Madlug products, Gifting Bag purchases and some very generous gifts from yourselves through our Crowdfunder campaign in August. This means that over 2,500 young people in care will be able to carry their lives with dignity. Thank you!

2017 l 5 Key Moments

As we look back on the year there’s a number of key moments we’re thankful for and here’s our top 5:

  • In June we received a letter from a young person in care who had received a Madlug Giving Bag. In it they shared how much receiving the bag meant saying ‘It felt wonderful to know that there are people who invest their time and energy into showing love and respect to others, and that despite knowing nothing about me you felt I was worthy and deserving compassion.’ It is stories like this which fuel our work and keep our heads lifted.
  • In March we were thrilled to move production of our Classic Range to Belfast. From that point the team at Usel have been hard at work to produce your Classic Backpacks, Gym Bags, Laptop Bags and Giving Bags. We’re so proud to work with such an incredible local company who are themselves a social enterprise who are providing supported employment to people with disabilities and health-related conditions.
  • In July we launched a crowdfunder in conjunction with Virgin Voom. We were blown away by your generosity which saw over £24,000 raised to support young people in care! We had pledges range from £10 - £1,000 and each pledge ensured that vulnerable young people didn’t have to put their lives in bin bags. Off the back of the crowdfunder we were invited to a brunch with Richard Branson and to share with him the incredible story of young people in care and the support you gave.
  • In March we were able to update our website, product photography and produce a video to share the Madlug story. This was generously funded by Ulster Carpets. These updates have helped us reach a new level of professionalism and share the story of every child and young person in care is incredible. You can watch the video here.
  • Over the past year we have been able to support young people in care across the whole of the United Kingdom. From starting in Northern Ireland it’s been a privilege to connect with Social Workers, Local Authorities and Charities across the UK in places like London, Manchester, Rotherham, Edinburgh, Lancashire, Leicester and more. No child in care should carry their lives in a bin bag and it’s been powerful to see this spread beyond our shores.

      2017 l The People

      As a company committed to the belief in each individual’s value, worth and dignity we are so thankful for the people who are on the journey with us. We would like to make special mention of our volunteers who have done everything from shipping bags, to pounding the pavement sharing about Madlug and taking some amazing photos along the way. Much of this goes unseen but we want to share it with you. So a big round of applause to Amy Anderson, Josh Norton, Deborah Martin, Richard Lyttle, all our photographers, our Board of Directors and everyone else who has helped along the way.

      Madlug is very much a team effort and we couldn’t do it alone - nor do we want to.

      2017 l 2018

      As 2017 draws to a close we are boldly planning for 2018. Our key motivation is that young people in care deserve to know their incredible value, worth and dignity and that carrying their lives in bin bags crushes that. The tragic fact is that there are over 90,000 young people in care in the UK alone. This means that every 20 minutes a young person enters the care system. Our long term goal is to make sure that each young person going into care doesn’t have to use a bin bag. Buoyed by your support since Madlug started in 2015 we’re hopeful enough that this is achievable, but realistic enough that it is going to be steps along the way that get us there. To put a figure on it for 2018 we are aiming to sell 5,000 Madlug products. That would mean an increase of 300% on this year's sales.

      We need your help to make this a reality.

      There are a number of ways you can be involved:

      1. Do you have children in school? Next year we'll be launching our Classic School Bag and we would love to see young people wearing the bag and flying the flag to show support for children in care. Click here and register your interest in receiving a Madlug Classic School Bag.
      2. Do you own or work in a business? We want to give businesses an opportunity to join in the story by choosing Madlug products. Click here to register your interest and we’ll follow up in January.
      3. Are you going on holiday in 2018? Why not use a Madlug Travel Bag or Backpack for your luggage? Click here to see the full range.
      4. Are you a student? Represent Madlug on your campus and share the message of young people in care. Click here to see the full range.
      5. Would you like to support Madlug? We are keen to build our volunteer team. Click here to complete the form and we’ll be in touch about our next team gathering in January.

      2018 l Our Commitment To You

      We place the highest value in the trust you put in Madlug. We are conscious that through your purchases you are wanting to improve the lives of young people in care. Our commitment to you going into 2018 is that we will produce a monthly report to detail sales units and giving so that you can see in real time the impact you are making. We want to celebrate the victories with you, but we also won’t hide our struggles. This transparency is important to us because honesty, and integrity are what Madlug is founded on and we want you to know that we are a company you can trust.

      2018 l Our Biggest Year Yet?

      We’ve set the bar high for 2018. Not because we want to make huge profits, but because every 20 minutes a young person will enter the care system. It is our belief that they deserve more than to travel with bin bags. Together, we believe we can make a significant impact in the lives of these young people and we’re so excited to go on that journey with you.

      For now, from all of us at Madlug, thank you and we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

      December 20, 2017 — Madlug Blog

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