HOMELESS WOMEN NEED ALL THE SUPPORT
THEY CAN GET
Recycling bras for a good cause
North-West leading charity for the homeless and marginalised, the Mustard Tree has paired up with Manchester city-centre based lingerie boutique Lucile to launch Bosom Buddies 2010; a campaign that aims to provide good quality, correctly fitting bras for women who would otherwise have to go without.
A recent survey revealed that on average British women own 13 bras but only regularly wear eight of them (One Poll, March 2010). That means a lot of bras are going begging. In fact, that makes about 124 million in total, so a campaign has been launched to get the ‘hands on’ some of those bras to support homeless women across Manchester and the North West of England.
Supported by the Diocese of Manchester, the campaign has started to encourage ladies to have a rummage through their drawers and the appeal is to bring in, or post, any bras they can spare to the Mustard Tree Charity (110 Oldham Road, Manchester M4 6AG) or to Lucile Lingerie Boutique (Police Street, Manchester M2 7LQ).
Paul Wenham, Chief Executive at the Mustard Tree charity comments: “Women who find themselves homeless and sleeping rough are incredibly vulnerable and have often been through extremely difficult circumstances. Although decent underwear is a very small part of the help needed, this can still make a huge difference between feeling like a worthless object or a lady with some dignity. The Mustard Tree hopes this partnership with Lucile makes a small but special difference to some of those ladies in the city who find themselves in need and without a home.’
Kate Davies, Lucile’s PR & Boutique Manager, also added: “I recently read the survey results and was intrigued to read at least 13 bras are owned on average by a British lady and only 8 are regularly worn. So we thought this would be a great opportunity for Lucile to put something back into the community and that’s when we approached The Mustard Tree. We believe every woman is entitled to have a good fitting bra and we wanted to offer this to women who are less fortunate. If any lady out there owns bras which are just collecting dust, we are asking them to kindly pop into the boutique and donate them for the less fortunate out there. We would really appreciate your generosity”.
Rev Jan Harney on behalf of CofE (Diocese of Manchester), delighted to back up and support the campaign, said: “Women come in all shapes and sizes, beautifully crafted by a God who loves each one of us and has called us to love and care for each other in practical as well as emotional and spiritual ways. Giving away surplus money and clothing to others in need is our response to humanity using Jesus’ example, yet for some reason, us ladies, we hold onto our bras. Perhaps we’re too shy to hand them in? Or just waiting for the day we can fit into them again? But someone else living an itinerant lifestyle is in need of the particular dignity that well-fitting underwear brings. It’s another of life’s little mysteries. We can’t explain it really, but we know the difference it makes to our confidence”.
Rev Jan Harney continues: “So come on girls, please, we urge you. Whether your spare bras are ‘itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny’ or more of the ‘over-shoulder-boulder-holder’ style, a sister out there will be blessed by them”.
For more information about the campaign, please visit: www.bosombuddies2010.co.uk or ring 07989 400 962
Attached pictures supplied by Cate Thornton
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- For every bra donated in-store, ladies can save £10 off any new bra from Lucile Lingerie Boutique, Manchester (tel. 0161 8353286 or visit www.lucileandco.com)
- In 2007 (source: Shadow Housing Minister report 2007) 24,428 women across the UK were in temporary accommodation (counted as homeless); 1,328 women were living in B&Bs for more than 6 weeks and approx 16,815 in some form of refuge accommodation.
- It is estimated there are up to 400,000 hidden homeless (both men and women).
- 63% of homeless women have experienced domestic violence (Crisis 1999) and 40% have been sexually abused (Homeless Link 2007).
- The average life expectancy for a homeless person is 42 years old (Crisis 1996).
- Since 2005 the Mustard Tree Charity (Manchester) has supported over 3,000 women in need across Greater Manchester. At least 70 of whom were sleeping rough on the streets of Manchester and 300 of which were destitute or in temporary accommodation. Please note: these figures don’t include soup runs. These are the just the number of women who have come in to the Charity’s base in Ancoats, in aid of help or shelter.