Mother starts Grace Millane handbag appeal in Norfolk for victims of domestic violence
PUBLISHED: 07:46 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 07:46 28 February 2020
A North Norfolk mother has set up a collection point for handbags in memory of Grace Millane.
The campaign called Love Grace was started by the murdered backpacker's family in Essex to combat violence against women.
And now Love Grace, which asks for handbags filled with essential and luxury items to be donated to women who are victims of domestic violence, has spread worldwide including Norfolk.
Julie Garner has started two collection points this week in her shops Galley Clothing in Wroxham Barns and Everything Outdoor in The Reading Room at Holkham.
Ms Garner said she decided to join the campaign after reading a post on the Love Grace Facebook page asking if there was a Norfolk drop-off point.
She said: "I've always kept an eye on the campaign on social media and I thought 'we could do that' so I approached them straight away.
"As a mother the tragic death of Grace Millane was something that was close to my heart. It is the most horrendous thing that can happen.
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"I had a daughter travelling around China the same time that Grace Millane went missing and, as a mother, I couldn't bring myself to watch the news. I later recognised Grace's father from my twenties when I lived in Essex."
Customers can either bring their own filled bags or buy toiletries at the stores for a nominal £1, as well as bags.
Ms Garner added: "People will also get a £5 voucher if they chose to donate as we realise that not everyone is in a position to do so."
Filled bags from the shops are planned to be donated to women's refuge centres across Norfolk.
Ms Garner hopes the campaign will run in her shops until at least the spring.
Grace Millane, 22, was murdered while travelling around New Zealand in December 2018.
Last week the 28-year-old man found guilty of her murder, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a life sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years.
For more information search Love Grace on Facebook.