The Rolleston BNZ staff with the Love Grace Handbag appeal donations

A helping hand

by Ann van Engelen

The Bank of New Zealand Rolleston has collected 55 handbags for Women’s Refuge to support ladies as they move forward from abusive situations through the Love Grace Handbag appeal.

“The appeal ran from February 17 until March 6. In December 2018, Grace Millane was travelling New Zealand when she was tragically murdered on the eve of her 22nd birthday,” says BNZ Rolleston branch manager Fiona Lowrey.

“The appeal was set up in the UK by Grace’s family, combining her love of handbags with a legacy carried out in her name to end violence towards women. They asked for donations of handbags filled with essentials that would help women in need get to a safer future. TV3’s The Project coordinated the New Zealand effort, working with Women’s Refuge to distribute bags to women here who need them most.

“The BNZ volunteered to be a drop-off point for the appeal. Here at Rolleston, we were thrilled to receive 55 bags from our wonderful, generous community, which will be dropped to Women’s Refuge this week. BNZ Rolleston would like to thank the local community for the wonderful support.

“Nationally, we received 2,685 bags during this time. Should people still want to donate, bags can be dropped off directly to the Women’s Refuge office, find your local on the Women’s Refuge website.”

If any ladies are needing help due to being in an abusive situation, call the Women’s Refuge free crisis line on 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 — if it is an emergency situation phone 111.