Over 14 million people in the UK live in poverty, equivalent to one fifth of the population. Long before people go to a food bank, they stop buying toiletries to make ends meet. As National Hygiene Week brings individuals, communities and businesses together to tackle hygiene poverty, aviation services group, Air Partner, will be expanding its donation points for The Hygiene Bank to its Gatwick and Bracknell offices to support more local communities.
The Hygiene Bank is a grassroots charity that aims to alleviate hygiene poverty by providing access to personal care and cleaning essentials to those who are otherwise unable to afford such items. As the UK faces a cost-of-living crisis, the work carried out by The Hygiene Bank and its supporters is crucial to improving people's physical and mental health.
The Hygiene Bank will distribute Air Partner’s donations to key hubs in Gatwick and Bracknell, such as schools, food banks, and vulnerable community groups to reach the homeless, struggling families, people fleeing domestic violence, and refugees from all over the world, among others.
Air Partner employees from the group’s Redline Assured Security division previously supported The Hygiene Bank in Doncaster, donating essential household items including toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, toilet rolls, nappies, and sanitary products to help The Hygiene Bank ensure that those in need do not have to choose between paying their rent, heating their homes, eating, or being clean.
Serena Van Der Meulen, Joint Coordinator for The Hygiene Bank’s Doncaster branch, said: “The Doncaster branch’s team of 12 volunteers support 66 community partners in the area to meet the need for hygiene products. Whilst we rely on a steady stream of public donations, organised collections and drives by companies like Air Partner make a noticeable impact on our supply, meaning we can help as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. We’re delighted that Air Partner has extended its support to Bracknell and Gatwick, ensuring more people can access essential items that many of us take for granted.”
Whilst Scotland’s recent move to make all menstrual products free and accessible marked a significant step forward in the eradication of hygiene poverty, there is still a long way to go. Hygiene products are a gap item, meaning they are not as commonly donated to food banks and other such suppliers as other items despite their importance. The Hygiene Bank, with the support of organisations like Air Partner, aims to help fill this gap by collecting personal care and hygiene essentials for distribution to those that need it most.
Greg Charman, ESG Manager at Air Partner, said: “We are proud to support The Hygiene Bank and the incredible work they do for people across the UK. Nobody should have to forego basic hygiene to make ends meet. The drive at our office in Doncaster was hugely successful, and we are committed to making a difference to the local communities in Gatwick and Bracknell.”