The Buddy Bag Brigade are doing incredible work for children across the UK, one backpack at a time. As the charity continues to grow, they are utilising online tools to make day-to-day activities simpler and easier.
The Buddy Bag Brigade launched in 2014. The idea came to life after founder Karen Williams was inspired by a similar initiative discovered during a trip to Australia: The Alannah and Madeline Foundation were delivering over 50,000 Buddy Bags to children in emergency care. Upon returning to the UK, Karen discovered a lack of similar initiatives for vulnerable children and decided to set up the UK Buddy Bag appeal.
Buddy Bags are distributed to women's refuges throughout the UK that deal with vulnerable children who have been victims of domestic and sexual abuse. A Buddy Bag is something a child can call their own, and consists of a backpack filled with a mix of essential and comfort items a child may need – toiletries, pyjamas, socks, underwear, a book, and teddy bear are some of items inside the bag. The Buddy Bags are also tailored to age categories from 0 – 16 years.
In order to deliver the Buddy Bag scheme, the foundation relies on product donations and volunteers to help pack bags. The back-packing is carried out by creating fun dedicated days where 180 Buddy Bags are packed, with love, by volunteers. "(It) makes a real difference to volunteers when they can get involved hands-on to make a difference to children in emergency care." Says Karen, founder of the Buddy Bag Foundation.
To organise the volunteer days, the Buddy Bag Foundation utilises Ticket Tailor's event management platform to allocate free tickets to volunteers. This process makes it easy for volunteers to visit The Buddy Bag website, select the day they wish to volunteer, and get instant confirmation of their attendance. This works great for the foundation too, because it removes a large amount of admin work and allows them to closely monitor capacity limits. Karen explains the importance of the volunteers to the foundation. "Be organised, professional and make volunteers feel welcome when they arrive" she says.
Before discovering Ticket Tailor, The Buddy Bag Foundation used an alternative ticketing platform, but found the costs involved too high. "EventBrite. As a Charity they charge too much" says Karen. The Buddy Bag Foundation benefits hugely from Ticket Tailor's low fixed cost pricing, as well as the 20% discount offered to charities. Karen adds "as a charity they (Ticket Tailor) keep our costs to a minimum."
Another detail that has made Karen's life easier has been the support received from Ticket Tailor's customer support team, who are always on hand if she has a question. "Ticket Tailor are professional, reliable and helpful" Karen reiterates.
The Buddy Bag Foundation continues to do incredible work for children in care. The foundation is growing, and this year, Karen's work was acknowledged when she was named TV’s Loraine Kelly’s Inspirational Woman Of The Year Finalist. The Foundation also held their first charity ball event, and Dr Hilary Jones became an official supporter of The Buddy Bag Foundation.
Great work The Buddy Bag Foundation! If you would like to get involved with the foundation visit their website.
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