The Hygiene Bank
Who are we?
Hi, I’m Jo and I co-ordinate the hygiene bank in Aston Clinton/Bucks
Many people living in poverty or those who find themselves in times of a major life crisis often have to make the distressing decision to eat or stay clean because they can’t afford to do both. We are a locally based national, grass roots charity that is here to help. Our passion is grounded in a sense of injustice: it’s not right that anyone should face this choice. Driven by a belief that everyone deserves to feel clean, we give hygiene, beauty & personal care essentials to those that need them.
This is about dignity. We need to break the stigma of hygiene poverty. It is shaming, humiliating and excluding and can result in social isolation. It leads to a crippling lack of confidence and negatively affects good health and mental well-being. These can impact early childhood development, learning, employability and social interaction.
We encourage people and businesses in the locality to donate essential toiletries, hygiene, beauty and grooming products via drop off points and collector schemes. Brands and retailers also give us unused or repackaged products and we are distribution partners for some buy one/give brands. All these products are collected, sorted and given out to a network of organisations and services that support vulnerable and struggling people. The Hygiene Bank doesn’t give products to individuals directly – we partner with local schools and existing charities such as foodbanks, supported housing schemes, refuges, hostels and social services who then distribute the products to the people they are working with. This means everything donated locally stays in the area and is given out to local families and individuals living in crisis. The Hygiene Bank for Aston Clinton and the surrounding villages embraces this vision for everyone to have access to toiletry, hygiene, grooming and beauty products so that no one has to suffer the indignity and social stigma of hygiene poverty.
14 million people in the UK live below the poverty line, 4.1 million are children with an increase of 500,000 in the last five years. Two‐thirds of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one person works, but they just don’t earn enough to afford a decent standard of living and so can’t work themselves out of the poverty trap. (source: Child Poverty Action Group)
We then collect, sort donations and distribute these. Our current, confirmed partners are; the Aylesbury and Wycombe Women’s refuge (both cover this area), Homeless Shelter in Aylesbury, Youth Action and Dacorum food bank. Along with Jacki who covers the Tring area and surrounding villages we are in conversation with local children’s centres and schools to establish them as additional partners.
There are drop off points open to members of the pubic at Bluebells Tea Rooms (Marsworth), The Squirrel Public House (Amersham), St Michael and All Angels Church (Aston Clinton), All Saints (Buckland), Tring Beauty Box (Tring) and Aldbury Post Office. They can accept donations anytime they are open. There will be a drop off point at the community centre at RAF Halton and we are looking for a drop off point in Wendover. Ideas for drop points are welcome.
There are also collection points (private to people or businesses) set up to receive your donations (with more to follow) at Nails by Danielle in Aston Clinton (by appointment only). We are happy to arrange a collection if required. 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. We have been able to provide much needed products to many people this month following the Mix96 campaign
If you would like to donate, get involved, set up a collector/drop off point please do get in touch. My email is THBBucks@gmail.com. Follow us on social media: @thehygienebank and www.thehygienebank.com Find your local Facebook page THBTringAstonClinton and spread the word!