Support for initiative across Edinburgh and Lothians there for all to see
An Edinburgh Napier lecturer whose charity provides free basic toiletries to those who need them most is preparing to take it to the next level as her own life enters a new chapter.
19 July 2019
Isabel Dosser, a lecturer in palliative care within the University’s School of Health and Social Care, launched Dignity Boxes last year with the aim of making boxes of toiletries available across the Lothian region for those in need.
The first box was presented at leading homeless charity Social Bite’s Shandwick Place shop in September 2018 and in the last 10 months it has been joined by 22 other boxes across Edinburgh and West Lothian.
These boxes supply products such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrushes to those who need them free of charge.
There are now also 45 donation boxes across the region, with businesses, organisations, communities and companies coming together to support the initiative.
Isabel is hoping the charity’s growth continues to flourish even more as she prepares to retire from working for the University and is keen to make contact with anyone wishing to help.
After 15 years of service at Edinburgh Napier and 30 years in nursing practice prior to joining the University, she is getting set to go full-time with Dignity Boxes as she looks ahead to helping even more people in need to live their life with dignity.
Isabel said: “I’ve had 15 wonderful years at Edinburgh Napier and nearly 30 years within health care practice prior to that. I’ll miss doing what I do, but I’ll be heading into retirement excited to be embracing the challenge that will be running the Dignity Boxes charity on a full-time basis.
“The level of support I’ve seen from so many people since it was launched last year has been phenomenal – there has been no shortage of people wanting to work with us. Word of mouth has been incredibly beneficial. People hear about what I’m doing through others that are helping and it just seems to spread from there.
“My aim was to get 20 Dignity Boxes out within Lothian in our first year. We are currently at 23 and we have a waiting list for more. The response really has been incredible.”
Isabel will enter the next chapter of her and Dignity Boxes’ life with a new brand identity and website for the charity, thanks to a live project with creative students from the University’s School of Arts and Creative Industries.
Graphic design student Emily Geraghty and Myles Robertson, Business Management and Entrepreneurship student, have worked with Isabel to produce a new look including a new logo, posters and other graphics as well as a website to help spread the word of the Dignity Boxes’ initiative. Myles is also a junior consultant with Bright Red Triangle, the University’s entrepreneurial arm.
Its support like this that continues to take Isabel by surprise as more and more people come forward with offers of kindness to help the charity.
She said: “I am delighted with the work that Emily has completed in developing a new identity and branding for Dignity Boxes. Emily was chosen from the work of 28 students. All the students were very professional in their approach and it was great to be a part of their classwork assessment which contributed to their portfolio. Having a website built also gives us a unique identity and we thank Myles for his knowledge and time in making this happen. Communication is key to the charity so to have these in place will be a massive help to its success.
“The support I’ve had from people from all walks of life has been astounding. From our link-ups with organisations such as West Lothian Council, Lloyds Banking, Offcom and Aegon to the volunteers that pick up and drop off boxes, and to the other charities and third sector organisations who have gave me advice and information along the way.
“There’s a lovely community spirit in Edinburgh and the Lothians and I look forward to playing a part in this in the months ahead.”
How can you get involved?
The campaign is asking for donations of the following:
- Shower gel
- Shaving foam
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
These can be donated at the iPoint receptions at any of Edinburgh Napier’s campuses – Merchiston, Craiglockhart and Sighthill - or can be organised direct with Isabel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Companies and local businesses can also request their own donation box for use or discuss sponsoring a box in one area for a specific period.