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Recognition and personal growth: Madlug on the benefits of becoming a New Radical

Madlug is a social enterprise based in Belfast that is supporting the 90,000+ children in the care system in the UK and Ireland. Sadly, many of these children are moving with their belongings in black plastic bin bags. At Madlug we don't think this is right and are working to change it.


We are the only one-for-one luggage company in the world supporting children in care. This means that with each Madlug product bought, a brand new bag is gifted to a young person who needs one so they don't have to use a bin bag again. It's a really simple idea but amazingly transformational for the young people affected.

We had the amazing privilege of being nominated as a New Radical in 2016 - we didn't even know about it! The first we heard of it was when a journalist called us to confirm the press release they were writing. It was such an amazing phone call to receive. As a relatively small startup, this can be a difficult journey sometimes but phone calls like that really help encourage you along the way.

Madlug received national recognition and validation as a social enterprise making a difference in the lives of young people.

As a result of our New Radicals experience, Madlug received national recognition and validation as a social enterprise making a difference in the lives of young people. This endorsement was huge for us and it was such a humbling experience to have been listed alongside many other great people and projects.

We started to see engagement and orders coming from the mainland UK and we have been able to build a number of strong and successful relationships that are further helping us achieve our mission. On a personal level, I also learnt a lot from the experience. I'm really new to business having been a youth worker for 20+ years so to have the chance to meet with other social entrepreneurs and be an alumni member has greatly helped my personal growth and development.

I would definitely encourage others to enter for the chance to make the New Radicals 2018 list. Entering will not only help you define and scope out your goals and mission with greater clarity, but also give you the opportunity to introduce more people to your product. And, of course if you are successfully nominated there are a lot of opportunities to further build and develop upon and it opens up doors that you might not otherwise have been able to reach.


We have great plans for the future. One child enters care every 15 minutes which equates to over 25,000 children and young people per year. It's our plan this year to grow to a place where we can give every one of these children a new travel bag. To help us achieve this we are excited to be launching our new schools programme which will allow schools and individual pupils/year groups to support another young person in care. If we can connect with 500 schools we will be able to hit our target of giving one new travel bag to every child in care.

Find out more about New Radicals 2018 here.

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Dave Linton

Dave is an innovator, social entrepreneur, mentor of social enterprises, leader, trainer, motivational speaker and the founder and executive director of award winning Madlug C.I.C., ...