HALE W18 Masthead

Designer shopping for a good cause? Yes please.

Fionnuala Gray

Designer handbags and palliative care may not be the most obvious pairing, but at Bags, Beauty and Bling you can update your wardrobe and support this important work.

Death is a difficult time for many, especially those with a terminal illness, but Palliative Care ACT is always there to make the process that little bit easier. The idea of death and dying is something that many of us would prefer not to talk about, but 80% of Canberra women will need palliative care. This month, you can support their work by attending Bags, Beauty and Bling, where you can buy donated designer handbags and learn more about the organisation.

Palliative Care ACT is a local community volunteer organisation, dedicated to offering free services to assist those with a life-limiting condition. Running over two days, Bags, Beauty and Bling is a fundraising event that will offer Canberra women the opportunity to shop for a good cause and learn more about the organisation.

According to Glenda Stevens, CEO of Palliative Care ACT, a range of over 500 designer bags will be on offer, all of which have been donated by women in the Canberra community.

“We are auctioning 10 Guess bags at Bags, Beauty and Bling’s champagne event on Friday, and on Saturday we’ll have bags from brands like Prada, Burberry and Celiné for general sale,” she explains. “We want to host an event that’s open to everyone, so prices range from $1-$50. We have some really great handbags, at a really good price.”

Julia Gillard has donated an evening bag, and Lady Cosgrove has donated a lime green, eel skin bag. ACT NAIDOC Artist of the Year 2015 Sarah Richards has also donated a painted bag for the event.

Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of those suffering from conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone Disease.

Care is available from the time of diagnosis through until end of life to those at home or in-care. Palliative Care ACT offers several programmes, only one of which is funded by the ACT Government. The others rely on the efforts of the organisation’s 175 volunteers, and donations and fundraising.  Bags, Beauty and Bling aims to mirror Palliative Care ACT’s purpose.

“In a way, repurposing and recycling these bags is a parallel to the palliative journey – it’s an improvement, an extension of life. We want to offer something to the broader community, so that everyone can engage with the organisation.”

Bags, Beauty and Bling will be held on Friday 15 June from 5.30 to 8.30 pm, and Saturday 16 June from 10 am to 3 pm. Friday’s champagne auction is open to the first 100 shoppers, with tickets available via Eventbrite website. Doors are open to all on Saturday and admission is free.

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