THEY’RE a must-have fashion accessory for the style-conscious female and an indispensable part of most women’s wardrobes.
But now women in the North East are being urged to hand over their much-loved handbags as part of a novel bid to support a leading cancer charity.
Bosses at the family-owned Rutherfords department store in Morpeth, Northumberland are launching a “handbag amnesty” next month to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Customers are being encouraged to bring in their old handbags and deposit them in a container in return for a voucher giving them 10% off the price of buying a brand new one at the store. The old handbags will then be given to Marie Curie Cancer Care to go on sale in their charity shops across the region.
The handbag amnesty starts at the Bridge Street store on October 6, and it is hoped the initiative will help the charity raise hundreds of pounds.
Marie Curie provides care to terminally ill patients in their own homes, or at its hospice in Newcastle – one of nine across the UK – while also offering support to their families.
Yesterday Rutherfords co-owner Jane Rutherford said: “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, so we want to help raise some vital funds for an important charity which does wonderful work here in the North East.
“We expect it to be very popular with our customers, who are both very generous and very supportive of the work we do for charity.
“Our handbag department is extremely popular and this is the time of year when women are looking to buy a new handbag. Now they can get a 10% discount and help a major charity at the same time.”
Her husband Richard, who is company chairman, said: “We are always looking for new ideas on how to raise money for cancer charities, and as a fashion store we do have a lot of handbags.
“Women must have a lot of handbags they don’t use any more, and if it’s going to help a charity they could let them go.”
Marie Curie community fundraiser, Lisa Corfield, said: “The Rutherfords handbag amnesty is an incredibly creative fundraising idea, and we’ve never done anything like this before. Our shops are desperately in need of new stock so this is a huge boost for us. Rutherfords have supported us in the past by hosting tea parties in their cafe, and we are incredibly grateful for their continued involvement and support of the charity.”
The store is selling its own exclusive Christmas cards, designed by local school pupils, from next month, with all proceeds going to Marie Curie.