Best of Bedford: Mel Stratton

This month’s Best of Bedford comes from Mel Stratton, founder of Love in a Bag Bedford, a charity initiative to help women in crisis.

Mel  saw a Facebook post that her sister, who lives in Adelaide, had shared. It was about an Australian charity initiative called It’s In the Bag, providing essentials to women in need.

The concept is simple: find a handbag that you no longer use. Fill it with essentials such as shampoo, sanitary products, face wipes, tissues etc… and it will be donated to women in crisis.

After talking it through with friends and family, Mel decided to take the plunge and create Love in a Bag Bedford . She set up a Facebook page on 2 October to get the ball rolling and has been overwhelmed by the response. “My husband and his family run Amorco Transport Limited and immediately offered to be a drop off point,” said Mel. “It snowballed from there.”

Other businesses soon got in touch and drop off points now include Seventh Heaven Cakes in the Old Arcade, the Playhouse in Thurleigh, Bedford Heights in Brickhill and Treat Street at Riverside Bedford.

In addition to essential products, Mel is encouraging donors to include a handwritten note for the recipient. “We will be donating the bags to women in crisis, women who may have left their family home with nothing but their children. We want to let those women know that someone is thinking of them and cares about them. A heart-felt note will let them know that they are not insignificant; that someone does care.”

Name: Mel Stratton

Occupation: Childminder

Born here or blow in? Born here, at 12 Irwin Road to be precise!

Best thing about living in Bedford? I’m surrounded by my family and the most wonderful set of friends.

Best cuppa or coffee? Mama Concetta on Harpur Street

Best breakfast? Wendover Drive Cafe

The one place you’d recommend to visitors? 2likeUs/Aperitivo in Castle Road. The best food and the best ‘Bedford welcome’. Two of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

Ever read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress?  No, I don’t have time for that! Lol!

Best boozer? If Bedfordshire counts then The Old Swan at Astwood….well worth a visit.

Ever eaten a Bedfordshire Clanger? Yes, of course!

Three words that sum up Bedford: Great Community Spirit

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