Dr Lucy Brooks
Dr Kirsten Sellick
Dr Hannah Barham-Brown
Caroline Hunt

Help in Handbags is a community project set up by Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, Dr Lucy Brooks, Dr Kirsten Sellick and Caroline Hunt. We started with a simple WhatsApp message about using unloved handbags and hotel toiletries to improve the lives of some less-fortunate ladies in Leeds.

By the end of one day we had a logo, a twitter account and a further fifteen keen volunteers, and by the end of one week Hannah had a house full of sanitary products and interviews with local press lined up! Since then we have grown and evolved, and have surpassed our 100th bag donated!

A month’s supply of sanitary products and toiletries lovingly packed and distributed in donated handbags

Help In Handbags is a collective effort officially partnered with Freedom 4 Girls, a wonderful organisation who distribute our ‘help in handbags’ to wherever they are needed in Leeds.

Freedom 4 Girls collecting a batch of handbags to distribute

Some of the distributions go to projects supporting assylum seekers and refugees, and therefore we have since started making ‘towel-only’ bags to provide to this social demographic. We are also considering future moon-cup bags when we can ensure distribution will go to those with adequate facilities to use these safely and hygienically.