It’s been a challenging year, every person, every industry has been affected in some way by the pandemic. But there hasn’t been just one pandemic happening, there’s been two. We already know that COVID adversely affects those living in poverty, and with 1 in 5 in the UK living below the poverty line, it’s not something we could ignore. Lockdown and working restrictions has tipped more families over the brink, and those who may have never needed to rely on government support, charities or food banks, are finding themselves at the very heart of a huge societal disparity.
Over the last 2 years, Southpaw has been supporting The Hygiene Bank in their fight against hygiene poverty, an often-overlooked element of living in poverty. Long before those struggling visit a food bank, they stop buying hygiene and personal care essentials. This seriously affects self-esteem, work and school attendance, participation in society and overall wellbeing.
It is hard to process that the world’s 5th richest country has such an issue with hygiene poverty in the UK. How did we ever let this happen?
In 2020 Southpaw has been proud to donate over £70,000 worth of time to help The Hygiene Bank spread their message, through the creation of a website, helping to launch the UK’s first ever National Hygiene Week, the #SAYBOGOF creative platform and a new COVID secure Christmas Appeal.
The Hygiene Bank has gone from strength to strength this past year, helping thousands of families and individuals experiencing hygiene poverty through different charity partners, schools, social services and community initiatives.
Since it's inception, the Hygiene Bank have donated over 400,000kg of hygiene essentials to those desperately in need. The vision for the charity for next year is to launch a national schools programme in order to educate children on the importance of hygiene, to continue to raise awareness of the social injustice we face and to be a voice for change.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Southpaw, here's to making a difference in 2021.