A food-bank style initiative set up to tackle hygiene poverty across the country has arrived in Chesterfield to hand out shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries to the needy.
It’s hard to believe that in this day and age there are residents living on the poverty line and having to make the impossible choice between food and keeping clean.
For those relying on food donations to survive, issues with hygiene spell extra distress and indiginity.
The Hygiene Bank aims to remove this problem by providing toiletries for free through a referral system.
Project co-ordinator Hannah Hart, who lives in Mastin Moor, is currently setting up donation points around the north Derbyshire area.
She said: “I previously worked with the Red Box Project, which provides free sanitary products to schools.
“I wanted to get my teeth into a new project so am helping to get the Hygiene Bank off the ground in the Chesterfield area.
“Hygiene poverty is a major issue in the UK.
“But we want to combat it by liasing with charities, organisations and schools who can then refer anyone in need to us.
“We can then determine what items they need and drop them off.”
14 million people in the UK live in poverty and 4.5 million of those are children.
Hygiene poverty can come about for a number of reasons- low wages, high housing costs, benefit cuts, illness, bereavement or situations such as abuse.
The Hygiene Bank, which is a registered charity, operates under the belief that ‘everyone deserves to feel clean’ and should never be left struggling to wash their hair, clean their teeth or change their baby’s nappy.
“Just a few basic items can make the world of difference and help get someone back on their feet,” added Hannah.
You can help the Hygiene Bank by donating toiletries or signing up to become a volunteer.
The project is currently accepting unisex shampoo and conditioner, unisex shower gel and soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving foam, deodorant, small boxes of wash powder, womens sanitary products and moisturiser.
Child and baby toiletries such as wipes, children’s toothpaste and tootbrushes, nappies and baby bath are also appreciated.
If you would like to donate, volunteer or get involved, you can follow the Chesterfield branch of The Hygiene Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Chesterfield-Hygiene-Bank-428905914588922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.