HomeTeacher Product ReviewsMADLUG: Bags That Give Back. Helping Children in Care to Feel Valued.

MADLUG: Bags That Give Back. Helping Children in Care to Feel Valued.


Bags that give back!

I recently got an excited phone call from a friend of mine, Beth, she is a social worker in Brighton, UK, working with children. She spent about ten minutes raving about how I should do a blog post on MADLUG. She explained that it was a company started by a guy called Dave Linton, who sell bags online.

Nothing too exciting yet I thought. Then she hit me!

teacherofsci madlug bags

For every bag MADLUG sells, they give a bag to a child in care! Now, I have taught lots of children who are in care and I know how tough life can be for them, so immediately my interest shot up. Seeing as she wouldn’t stop talking about MADLUG and that she’d previously written for me about safeguarding children, I figured I’d get her to write about this brilliant company for me.

MADLUG: Helping Children in Care to Feel Valued.

Words from a Social Worker.

I wrote an article last year for the amazing teacherofsci.com and wanted to do another to bring to light the amazing Dave Linton and his MADLUG brand.

I love this website and thought it would be a great platform to try and introduce Dave Linton and MADLUG to more teachers, schools; people who care about children. People who would like to support the many looked after children in the UK and Ireland.

I spoke with Paul about MADLUG and how much I love them and he agreed that their mission, ethics and branding are fantastic. So here is a joint blog post by a social worker and a teacher about MADLUG.

What’s the Problem?

I have been a child protection social worker for almost four years. It’s a crazy job which I am honoured to do. A lot of people ask me what the most challenging part of my job is.

The answer is always the same; when you have to remove children from their homes or between placements. 

Thankfully this doesn’t happen every day but when it does happen it really stays with you. MADLUG is doing what they can that much more manageable for the children. When speaking with colleagues about this experience we often reflect that unfortunately, there isn’t always time to really prepare the child or their family/carer as much as everyone would like.

madlug dave linton teacherofsci giving bag
Giving bags give children in care dignity.


Who are MADLUG?

Dave Linton started MADLUG in 2015, his mission was simple; give children in care a bit more dignity. MADLUG sell bags and luggage online, great bags. What makes them special is that for every bag they sell they give a bag to a child in care. A bag that allows them to transport all their worldly belongings in something more than a bin bag.

Dave Linton’s Mission.

In 2015, Dave Linton decided he wanted to help children in care feel a little bit more dignity. Dave had experienced the often undignified way children had to transport their worldly belongings during his time as a social worker and respite foster carer.

He had less than £500 to realise his vision but boy has it taken off! MADLUG (an acronym for “Make a difference luggage”) is rapidly becoming a very well known brand. To date, MADLUG has distributed over 5000 bags to children in care in the UK, with plans in place to take this into the tens of thousands in the very near future.

What exactly do MADLUG do?

Often children are moved quickly, having to pack their few belongings in whatever is around, these are often laundry or bin bags. MADLUG are providing free, functional bags to help children feel valued. 

madlug giving bag teacherofsci

The “giving bags” they supply are unbranded to avoid any stigma but say “You are incredible” when folded up. Exactly the message the brand seeks to promote.

Children in care can often feel undervalued compared to their peers, one of the best things about MADLUG is they are standing up and saying, we see you and support you.

With nearly 100,000 children in care in the UK and Ireland and one entering the system every 15 minutes, that’s a lot of children moving about, children who are having the hardest of times. MADLUG are a shining beacon, bringing a voice to those children and giving them a little more dignity.

MADLUG Bags. What Can We Buy!

When I came across MADLUG two years ago I was really impressed with their story and of course their products. I now I very proud owner for three different MADLUG bags.

Their range of products stretches from various styles of backpacks, gym and shoulder bags, laptop cases and even luggage for your holidays.

Madlug bags teacherofsci
A small selection of bags available on the Madlug website.
Teacherofsci wearing a Madlug bag
TeacherOfSci loves his Madlug

I have brought them for friends and family for Christmas and birthdays. The bags are really well made, practical and ethically made. Part of the manufacturing process takes place in Belfast, allowing for the production of local and more ethical stock.  

The cost of every bag covers a free bag for a child in care and the item you choose.  They have worked with children in care and health trusts to develop a giving bag that is centred around the needs of children in care. 

I feel a real passion for this brand, their approach and the support they are offering some of the most vulnerable children in the country and hope that by spreading the word far and wide more children will be given the gift of the dignity.

Beth Brannigan-Bell
I am a child protection social worker. I have worked for Brighton Hove City Council for almost four years, having graduated from Sussex University in 2015. When I started my first year in social work I was 23 and since then I have continued to develop my practice and enhance my learning through various CPD. Modules including undertaking both practice education courses enabling me to support students through there placement. The job is amazing but not without its challenges!

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