A teenager from Buckinghamshire has sent homemade care packages to more than 1,000 people over the last year.
Alice Rose, 18, who posts Positivity Boxes stocked with jewellery, hygiene products and toys across the country, said she wants the service to remind vulnerable people “that they are wanted”.
The teaching assistant explained her system works on a basis where “anyone who applies is entitled to one”.
“I just have to trust that they’re not taking advantage,” she said.
“It’s really nice when I get an email or I’ve had cards through the post from people who have received the packages… To know that they do appreciate what I’m trying to do and it’s helped them.”
Mental health issues
Ms Rose started the project with her own money in July last year.
“A lot of my friends were doing similar things… And I had seen how writing letters to care homes and hospital wards helped people, but I wanted to do something that other people weren’t doing,” she explained.
“I did a lot of research into what might help somebody who’s struggling with a mental health issue or feeling down… And then I found a lot of small businesses who were willing to give me discounts and help me out (and) it all clicked into place.”
Ms Rose then set up an online Google form where people could sign up to receive a package.
“The main thing that I like to include at the moment is fidget toys, because they’re small, discreet and it helps with a lot of mental health conditions – especially things like anxiety, ADHD,” she said.
“I’ve got little worry worms that somebody has kindly crocheted for me… I’ve got earrings, necklaces, and I also have the option of a self-harm package, so it has wipes and helplines (to reach out to).
“And then I’ve also got a self-care (box) with face masks, bath bombs, shower gel and shampoo, all that stuff.”
Ms Rose’s long-term goal for Alice’s Positivity Boxes is to become a registered charity, but for now, she hopes to raise enough money on GoFundMe to create Christmas-themed care packages for local hospitals, care homes, homeless shelters and women’s refuges.
“I am trying to put a little Christmas card in and gift wrap them,” she said.
“I’ve got some gingerbread decorations because I thought it’d be quite nice to give them a tree decoration they could put up every year that just reminds them that they are wanted and they have a purpose.”
To donate to Ms Rose’s GoFundMe, go to: www.gofundme.com/f/n93a9s-christmas-care-packages