We are delighted to be involved with a community initiative to tackle hygiene poverty. The Hygiene Bank started in August 2018 and since that time has become a national charity registered to work throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It's similar to a foodbank but for hygiene essentials, beauty and personal care products instead.
The Hygiene Bank knows that long before people visit a foodbank they stop buying toiletries and these products are not foodbank staples. As a charity it serves to fill that gap. The charity is driven by the belief that no-one should be left struggling to wash their hair, brush their teeth, change their baby's nappy or afford sanitary protection because they are blighted by low wages, high housing costs, benefit cuts, illness or bereavement. It's motivation is simple; to afford everyone their dignity.
So, how are we involved?
Our Veterinary Hospital in Malmesbury and clinics at Tetbury and Nailsworth will be designated drop-off points for surrounding areas, where we will keep a collection bin for any new, unused and in-date hygiene essentials, beauty and personal care products. Most of us rarely think about the cost of sanitary protection, shampoo, toothpaste or deodorant when stocking up on everyday essentials, but for many low-income families, especially those relying on food banks, hygiene is a luxury they can't afford. We hope our clients will join us in supporting The Hygiene Bank initiative.
It's important that donations are new, unused and in date items only. These will then be collected, sorted and distributed to those that can't afford them via charity partners. Partners include, local foodbanks, women's refuges, young person hostels, NHS Trusts, Social Services and other organisations working with people in crisis to ensure the right families and individuals get what they need. The important ethos is, donate local, help local, which means whatever is donated in an area stays in that area to help the local community.