Long before people go to a food bank or reach out for help, they stop buying hygiene items. Alongside this comes social exclusion – people miss out on employment opportunities or promotions, people are bullied for body odour when buying a deodorant would have meant missing a meal, mothers sacrifice their personal hygiene in order to feed their kids, girls are staying home from college because they can’t afford sanitary protection. This is hygiene poverty and unfortunately it is rife in Thanet.
Following the same principle as a food bank, we collect unused, unopened, in-date products like shampoo, washing powder, nappies, deodorant, sanitary wear, shower gel and then sort/distribute all items to local charities such as women’s refuges, night shelters, social services and children’s centres, who in turn distribute the items to those in crisis. We have nearly 400 drop off points throughout the country and the idea is that we collect local, give local.