Thousands of Wash Bags Help Tackle Hygiene Poverty

Hygiene is the basic level of care needed to feel clean, confident and sufficiently comfortable to engage fully in life. The Hygiene Bank says that hygiene is not a privilege and should be accessible to everyone, yet many locked in poverty or who find themselves in crisis due to bereavement, illness or sudden job loss face restricted options.

About the cause

According to a research report, hygiene poverty affects 6% of adults in the UK, 11% of 18-34 year olds and the same from ethnic minorities, 13% of those from lower-income households, 21% of disabled people, and , perhaps surprisingly, 5% of adults who are working.

The effects of hygiene poverty are life-inhibiting, from children being bullied at school to adults being housebound. It is something that can affect every stage of life, from infancy to old age. The most reported impact of hygiene poverty is its negative effect on mental health, and it is also reported to have a detrimental effect on physical health.

How we helped

Recognised by the senior partners of FFT as an issue on an even par with food poverty, hygiene poverty is something the Practice has endeavoured to tackle with a number of initiatives.

Over 3 years, we have funded and produced 3,750 wash bags filled with the likes of shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, hand sanitiser, toothbrushes and toothpaste. These were distributed across our clients’ communities to those who needed them most.

The bags were put together by FFT staff members, who kindly gave up a whole evening’s of their own time to prepare them.

Something as simple as a bag filled with hygiene basics can have a significant effect in terms of boosting confidence and opening up opportunities.

Our social value commitment

As the Hygiene Bank says, everyone has a role to play in turning the tide against hygiene poverty. We must all work together to address the injustice of hygiene poverty and advocate for a fairer society, one where we all have access to the basics needed to keep clean and healthy.

Our commitment in this area will continue as we uphold our social value mission to help individuals build their confidence and realise their full potential in all aspects of their lives.