workers at the hygiene bank

Hygiene charity forced to step up as pandemic worsens hygiene poverty

A charity working to inspire social change by tackling hygiene poverty across the UK delivered nine times the amount of aid in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Edgar Penollar,54, CEO of The Hygiene Bank revealed the products they distributed in 2020 had an estimated value of £3.8m.

The charity, which was founded in 2018, aims to deliver hygiene products, including personal care and household cleaning essentials, to those in need whilst tackling hygiene poverty.

Penollar said: “Sadly during COVID-19, we’ve seen consistent affirmation of how important our work is, and we’ve got a long way to end hygiene poverty.

“Now, we not only need to keep clean but also need to have a constant supply of PPE.

“The pandemic is the type of life event that can pull individuals and families further into poverty, and hold them back from fully participating in society.

“Our rule of thumb is, if you need and use them, then it is likely someone else needs and uses them too.”

Before the pandemic hit, the UK was facing a sanitation shortage as one-third of people were without hygiene products and over 14 million people were living in poverty.

These figures are on the rise but The Hygiene Bank, who aims to alleviate sanitation poverty, strives that one day everyone in the UK will have access to essential products.

Edgar said: “By raising awareness that hygiene poverty is so close to home and a problem, we can solve this together.

“We are building a social movement by bringing communities, businesses and leaders together to tackle hygiene poverty by giving access to products and being a voice for change.

“Our impact is a direct result of the incredible effort from people who want everyone to be healthy, safe and clean.”

The charity has 1400 community partners in 783 locations across the UK including seven drop-off sites in south west London.

The Hygiene Bank provides relief to abuse and homeless shelters, asylum seekers and refugees, foodbanks and hundreds of other charitable organisations.

The volunteers work with organisations to distribute the products within their local community free of charge.

The charity is running a London Royal Parks Challenge on 10 July 2021 to raise awareness for those who can’t afford essential products.

To enter visit the website.

Featured image credit: The Hygiene Bank

Related Articles