We may as well cut to the chase: I’m very disappointed with the general election result.
Years of austerity has led to the unthinkable in one of the most developed countries in the world. Constant cuts to services that need funding, more food banks, more knife crime, and the uneasy swirl of rumours about the privatisation of the NHS. It’s a scary, uncertain time for lots of people, especially those who have already been affected by nearly a decade of Conservative government. And I’m determined to do what I can, starting in my own community.
One of the less talked-about results of austerity is hygiene poverty (not being able to afford to keep clean). So I’ve started collecting donations for Beauty Banks. I sent them some products from their shopping list last Christmas, but this year I’m getting everyone I know involved.
What is Beauty Banks?
Beauty Banks support people living in hygiene poverty by providing toiletries and other personal care items, while also lobbying the UK government for change. Products are donated via the public, or by beauty and personal care brands who can send unused, overstocked, repackaged or discontinued products. Beauty Banks then collect, re-package and distribute parcels to food banks and shelters, who are able to pass on the donations.
Being clean is a basic human right, not a luxury, and the organisation is trying to help as many people in need as possible. They encourage people to spread the word and help their own communities.
What is hygiene poverty?
Hygiene poverty is when a person can’t afford to keep clean. Often, they may have to make a choice between eating and washing, for example, This not only affects physical hygiene, but dignity, self-confidence, and mental wellbeing.
What donations do Beauty Banks accept?
Toiletries: Body wash, shampoo, deodorant, shaving gel, face wash, moisturiser, toothpaste, spot cream
Personal care items: Disposable razors, face flannels, headlice combs, toothbrushes
Period products: Sanitary towels, tampons
Baby care items: Nappies, nappy cream, baby shampoo, wipes, lotion
Electricals: Hairdryers, shavers, clippers
Make-up: Mascara, lipstick, brow pencil, balm
All products must be unopened and unused due to health and safety. They can be full-size or mini.
How do I start collecting donations for Beauty Banks?
Grab a box and fill it with any unused, unwanted toiletries of your own. Ask friends, family and co-workers to give you anything they don’t want, then once the box is full, seal it up and send it to Beauty Banks via Droppoint.
Donate via Easho Wishlists, where you can send Beauty Banks a £20 bundle or £50 bundle. These contain non-cruelty-free items packaged in plastic, but I don’t mind in this instance. Being able to choose what you buy is a privilege that not everyone has.
If you don’t have any products that fit the bill, you can donate via their Just Giving page.
Are there any charities you plan to help this Christmas and into 2020? Let me know in the comments.
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travelling, and gin.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!