A post from our Project Manager @rosiehopes
It’s a nice idea: a monthly delivery of lovely things to make you feel better. Whether you’re living with depression, or you could just do with a pick-me-up, a box full of products chosen for self care, like the Buddy Box, is a welcome treat.
The trend for subscription boxes continues to grow and it’s great to see a charity like Blurt Foundation getting in on the act. It fits so well with their ethos and the money that it raises goes towards their peer support programme, which gets a massive thumbs up from us at Mind Waves.
And yet… there’s a couple of things about it that don’t sit that comfortably with me. The first is the cost. At £21.50 per month, the subscription is pretty hefty. Of course, not everyone who experiences a mental illness is short of cash, but there’s no doubt that the cost will exclude a lot of people. Even the Buddy Box Lite, at £12 is fairly pricey. When you look at the contents, the box offers a slight saving over buying them individually, but nonetheless it’s a significant cost.
What’s more troublesome for me is the idea that the solution to feeling low is to buy more stuff. The boxes contain a great mix of products that encourage helpful activities like crafts and relaxation, but I can’t help but feel that the idea that we need expensive products to do these things is not quite right. Of all the things I’d like to get through my letterbox, a letter from a friend, or a funny postcard would be much more welcome.
There’s also the waste, and the mess, that goes along with it. I find myself struggling to get rid of things at home and can feel overwhelmed by too much stuff. This seems a bit like one more pile of clutter arriving on the doorstep every month.
Of course, that’s just a personal thing- I’m the sort of weirdo who asks for no presents at birthday parties. I know most people love receiving gifts. There’s no doubt that it’s an innovative way of repackaging charitable giving- a great product to get people donating to an important cause. You can even subscribe and get your Buddy Box delivered to someone else who needs it. The idea of sending a monthly gift a stranger is quite touching.
If you’re thinking of signing up to a subscription box, make it this one.