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Messages of hope lined up for children in care

You are incredible – that’s the message for children in care, on Care Day this Friday (Feb 19), in a social media campaign to give them hope in lockdown.

The messages of hope were sent to Northern Irish social enterprise Madlug (Make a Difference Luggage) during the campaign. Madlug will share them in a video on social media this Friday as part of its Love Without Limits drive.

Madlug founder Dave Linton said: “We’ve been delighted by the supportive and positive messages we’ve received – our hope is that the children who see them will feel the love too.

“Lockdown has been tough for everyone, especially for children in care. We wanted them to know that they are incredible, loved and valued, and these messages show just how many people are thinking of them.”

One of the messages came from Reea Khanna, who wrote: “You! Yes you reading this! You are SO special and I bet you don’t even realise how special I mean. The kind of special where your smile lights up the worlds of others, so keep doing just that and the world will become a brighter place.”

Care leaver Catherine Flaherty posted her own story to encourage others. She said: “You are loved, you are cared for and you are safe. I never knew how it felt to be truly safe until I was put into a placement with my amazing foster parents. All they wanted was what was best for me, I hadn't felt that before. Stay strong, it gets better. I'm now 34 with my own little family and still see my foster dad (sadly, my foster mum is now an angel) and appreciate everything they did for me, my sister and brother.”

Other charities also supported the Love Without Limits campaign. Vic Langer, CEO of Become, the charity supporting children in care and young care leavers, said: “Our message of hope is this: We believe in you. We know you have the potential to become whatever you want to be. We will stand with you and amplify your voice so that you, and other care-experienced young people, can live happy, fulfilled lives.”

Dave Linton started Madlug in 2015 after becoming heartbroken to learn that many of the 90,000 children in care in the UK and Ireland transport their belongings in bin bags and plastic shopping bags.

In response, Madlug works tirelessly alongside health trusts and charities and has donated more than 20,000 bags to vulnerable children. Their stylish bags help to keep a child’s personal items in one safe place. The company’s ‘Buy One (bag) give one away (to a child in care)’ approach has raised awareness of the value and worth of children in care.

To find out more information about Madlug go to www.madlug.com

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