Help End Hygiene Poverty in Hastings
Press Release from Chris Knott Insurance and the Hygiene Bank
An insurance broker working in the not-for-profit sector has partnered with a national charity to co-ordinate the donation and distribution of personal hygiene products to local families in need.
Hastings-based UK Charity Insurance (UKCI) registered as a regional collection & drop-off point with The Hygiene Bank after discovering that families in some parts of East Sussex were struggling to buy toiletries and there was little or no alternative provision yet in the area.
The Hygiene Bank founder, Lizzy Hall, said “Long before people go to a foodbank, they stop buying toiletries. Foodbanks don’t receive hygiene products routinely enough to be able to help but The Hygiene Bank was created to change that. We’re grateful that UKCI is prepared to get on board and help us to make the desired impact in the Sussex area.”
Alison Acland, a director of UKCI said “Most of us rarely think about the cost of soap, shampoo, toothpaste or sanitary protection when stocking up on everyday essentials in the toiletry aisle. But for many struggling families, especially those relying on foodbanks, hygiene is a luxury they can’t afford; when actually this is a basic necessity to maintain good self-esteem and wellbeing.”
“I was particularly appalled that in this country, in this day and age, we have girls missing school regularly because their parents can no longer afford female sanitary products. And it’s not just girls who are missing out on basic cleanliness.”
Alison continued “We support charities of all types in our professional work but this really struck a chord when we were looking at our social action responsibilities. We encourage anyone local who can donate items to do so.”
Indeed, UKCI’s 26 staff have led the way, donating 100 items so far, with more to come as they operate an alternative Secret Santa this Christmas.
Looking ahead, the firm aims to co-ordinate a steady flow of products which will be passed to Hastings Foodbank for distribution to those who need them most. In addition, staff will be volunteering on behalf of the charity at the local Tesco in the run up to Christmas.
UKCI has a wish list of items on its website and donations of new and unopened toiletries can be made at their offices at 5th Floor, Cavendish House, Breeds Place, Hastings, TN34 3AA.
Hygiene poverty has been identified as ‘a hidden crisis’ in Britain and one that is growing, according to a report in 2017 by In Kind Direct. With little money to cover the cost of everyday essentials, some families are being forced to choose between buying food or buying personal hygiene items.
A survey by the charity Plan International UK found that one in ten girls or women aged 14 to 21 in Britain cannot afford sanitary towels or tampons. Girls are having to miss school because they have their period.
Hygiene poverty is shaming, isolating and excluding. Clean hair, skin and teeth are not a privilege. Tampons, toothpaste and a toothbrush are not luxury items. Although personal hygiene is not a matter of life and death, The Hygiene Bank believes being clean and looking good makes us feel better, helps us fit into society, makes us more employable and children that ‘fit in’ perform better in school.
Since the first appeal on 14th August 2018, The Hygiene Bank has given out over 3 tonnes of products (including 2000 sanitary items) to local foodbanks, women’s refuges, hostels, shelters, social services and other organisations working to support people in crisis.
UK Charity Insurance is a trading style of Chris Knott Insurance who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The firm provides specialist insurance services to charities, social enterprises and community groups across the UK and celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2018.
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