Hammersmith & FulhamNews

‘It’s something that people often take for granted’: The charity tackling hygiene poverty across the capital

By Kelsey McCabe

A charity that works to combat hygiene poverty has launched a new branch in west London.

Hygiene Bank UK, an organisation that provides hygiene and personal grooming products to those unable to afford them, has recently launched a new branch in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Branch coordinator Freya Thompson, 23, from Shepherd’s Bush, began the process to establish a new branch of the charity after volunteering with other Hygiene Bank UK locations and noticing an absence of resources to alleviate hygiene poverty in her own borough.

“It’s an issue that can be solved through charities like The Hygiene Bank, and it’s also something that I think perhaps people often take for granted,” Miss Thompson said. 

“If you just think about how many hygiene products you use in a day, how much does that cost you? And not having those items in your house really is such an unjust thing.”

Hygiene Bank UK aims to alleviate hygiene poverty by collecting hygiene items donated at their physical drop-off points or through their online wishlist, which their community partners then distribute to those in need.

A round of donations collected by the Hammersmith branch (Picture: Freya Thompson)

Although Miss Thompson noted that menstrual products are some of the most in-demand items that Hygiene Bank collects due to their costliness, she added that all donations are equally valued. 

“What I’ve seen from the partners that we have is that they really are grateful for any donations, whether it’s shampoo, or razors, or anything, because it’s really not just about the essential items. It’s also about having the things that are nice to have.”

The Hammersmith and Fulham branch currently has one community partner, a domestic abuse organization called Refuge, through which they distribute donated items to those in need. Miss Thompson said the new branch is currently seeking locations for their drop-off points.

“At the moment, the main goal would be to have more to drive donations, and to have more stations around the borough that would host a donation point, things like that,” Miss Thompson said. “Once we have more supply, we can increase our community partners.”

For enquiries about hosting a drop-off point or donating items, contact hammersmith@thehygienebank.com.

Pictured top: Freya Thompson (Picture: Freya Thompson)

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