Starting a Comfort Bags Scheme

Can you believe that it's been four years since we started the Comfort Bag scheme on a regional level?

After the initial success of the scheme in Greater Manchester West County, our members have taken part in this heart-warming initiative to provide handmade bags containing small toiletries and care items, to people in their times of need. 

Since launching the scheme in Girlguiding North West England last year, we’ve supported thousands of people in their times of need by delivering over 15,000 bags to different hospitals, hospices, Womens' Refuges and homeless shelters. 

We’ve also supported some of the victims of the Manchester Arena Attacks as well as victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Since initial launch of the Girlguiding North West England Comfort Bag Scheme, Greater Manchester West has been gifted their own bench, by the SWAN nurses. That's not all; the county has also been honoured with a Queen's Award for Voluntary service - the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK - for their dedication to the scheme. 

Why don't you help us take the scheme even further and reach even more people in need? 

If you are interested in setting up a Comfort Bag scheme in your local area, please read all of the information below and contact us on northwesthq@girlguidingnwe.org.uk.

Download the Comfort Bag Information here. 

Download the Comfort Bag - Editable Poster here. 

Let's Spread Some Kindness During COVID-19 

During these difficult times and with the strain on hospitals all around the  there is lots you can do to support your local healthcare establishments. We understand that it is challenging to shop for essential items and, despite this, it has been great to see our adult members, young members and parents keep the Comfort Bag scheme going in their counties. 

Please do whatever you can from home with the resources that you have for the patients being admitted into hospitals, who often don't get the chance to bring key items with them. It's not just about providing essential items - it's about letting people know that someone cares and that they're not alone. 

We're also encouraging members to send Kindness Bags to the healthcare staff who are working tirelessly to alleviate the pandemic. They need a pick-me-up too (!), so why not send them a bit of comfort - some sweet treats and essential items like deodorant, lip balms, etc (as staff often have limited time to freshen up during a busy shift). 

We are aware that in some areas nurses are happy to pick up bags to distribute, but we encourage members to pass the items to Girlguiding members who happen to work at the hospital. That way, we are limiting the level of contact in and out of the hospital during this time. Please contact your local coordinator who will know how to arrange this. 

Though we ordinarily encourage the use of hand-made cloth bags, due to the rapid increase of those in need, we encourage paper bags; failing this, plastic bags can be used. 

Or, you could get crafty and try your hand at upcycling an old T-shirt to create a brand-new reusable bag. Check out this awesome Girlguiding activity here.   Remember, these bags will be going to patients, so please make sure they're in suitable condition. 

If you are going to create comfort bags to support your local hospital, please remember to wash your hands before handling any of the care items that you will be distributing. ​

Please continue to follow the guidelines on social distancing and self-quarantining and only complete this initiative if you’re able to.