Suitcase Appeal


Twice a year, every year, as part of our MJ Refuge project, Making Herstory delivers
pre-packed suitcases for women being looked after by our supported women’s shelters.


Women and children survivors of trauma and violence, often escape their abusers with little to hand. Many bring nothing more than a plastic bag or two containing the few items precious to them, whilst others escape with nothing – not even a toothbrush.

Meanwhile, due to ongoing funding cuts and a lack of resources, women’s shelters are unable to provide more than the basic service of a room and a bed (if they have them to spare). This means traumatised women entering shelters, often do so with little to welcome them or help provide them with the basic comforts of a home.

To plug this gap and ensure women survivors and their children are given a fresh start in every sense of the word, Making Herstory created the Suitcase Appeal in the winter of 2017.


Our appeal calls on communities, groups and individuals to take charge, and purchase on our behalf, the goods we need to gift a minimum of 12 suitcases to each shelter we work with.

Inside each wheelie suitcase, we pack brand new goods inclusive of:

  • x1 Pair of pyjamas (sizes 14/16/18)
  • x1 Plain Towel/s (Large/bath towel and where possible, a hand towel)
  • x1 Dressing Gown
  • x1 pair of indoor slippers (size 5/6)
  • x1 Toiletry bag containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary towels, unscented deodorant, unscented soap, face towel, comb/brush, hairbands, natural/allergy-free shower gel and shampoo.
  • x1 Pack of underwear (12/14/16/18 in accordance with pyjama size)
  • Socks (for day wear and / or fluffy indoor socks)
  • x1 Hot water bottle with cover
  • x1 Umbrella
  • x1 Mug/large cup, bowl and plate set
  • x1 new single bedsheet and pillow case

A similar list is created for children of different ages where required.

In addition to pre-packed suitcases, Making Herstory also raises funds for, and delivers such objects as:

  • Kettles
  • Toasters
  • Microwaves
  • Inflatable airbeds
  • Cutlery
  • Food vouchers
  • PAYG Mobile phones with phone cards (for women who are unable to use their own)

These items are collected for women and children being placed in emergency housing external to a shelter, or about to move into their first independent accommodation.


To enable us to expand this arm of our works and meet demand, we urgently need:

  • MH Suitcase Appeal Champions: volunteers who take an active a lead on mobilising their friends, family members and local communities to gather funds and goods; create fully-loaded suitcases, and deliver these to a designated shelter twice a year.
  • Donors willing to bulk buy goods (e.g. x12 hot water bottles or x5 bedsheets etc.) on our behalf, to send to our designated champions / our HQ for their packing and delivery.
  • Financial donations to this appeal so we can directly purchase required goods and deliver these in the immediacy.

If you would like to be a Suitcase Appeal Champion or would like to order goods on our behalf,
please contact us HERE.

If you would like to contribute to this appeal, please donate HERE.