Madlug gains recognition as ‘New Radical’

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Local social enterprise Madlug has been recognised among the top 50 ‘radicals’, making a real difference in the world for children in the care system and so much more.

Madlug, based at Lurgan Social Enterrise Hub, have been voted as one of 50 New Radicals for 2016 by the Observer and Nesta for innovation and social impact.

Madlug founder Dave Linton was determined that no child should leave care carrying their possessions in a bin bag.

Mr Linton, a youth worker, was struck by a video in which a young woman described how bin bags caused her and others to “lose our dignity”.

“Buy one of the simple, brightly coloured rucksacks or sports bags and Madlug gives one to a child in care,” said Dave.

So far, the company – set up last July – has given out 700 high-quality bags, mainly in Northern Ireland. The free bags are unbranded to avoid stigmatising those who use them.

Dave, a former foster carer himself, sees Madlug as a way to support social services: “I don’t want to be a campaigner or a big stick.”

In the future, he aims to employ people who have been in care. He hopes Madlug can make a difference for some of the nearly 70,000 children in care in the UK. “It’s amazing how little the public knows of the realities these children are facing every day,” he said. “We’re trying to be a cool lifestyle brand, then saying, ‘Listen to the story behind it.’”