The Hygiene Bank provides support with basic toiletries

The Hygiene Bank is a new Community Embrace UK initiative, created to provide people with access to personal products.

A recent study shows that an increasing number of people are unable to buy basic toiletries, such as sanitary towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower gels, and deodorants, and many report that the situation is having a negative impact on their own mental health, and that of their children.

In launching this project, we are also delighted to announce a new community partnership with Boots UK, with a number of their branches in the area hosting our bright yellow box donation points.

Our Hygiene Bank finally launches

The Community Embrace UK Hygiene Bank idea first came up in 2019, following one of our community meet-up events. We had been purchasing products ourselves for the increasing number of people who were asking for them at our food distribution centre, but that wasn’t going to be sustainable.

That year we started initial conversations with national charity Hygiene Bank UK, to become part of their network and receive products donated through their yellow box drop off points in pharmacies around the country. But then, the pandemic hit, and overnight our priorities changed.

Our food distribution project suddenly became an emergency relief point for hundreds of people forced into isolation and unable to get out to buy groceries. Over the course of 2020 and 21, we delivered over 23,000 pre-packed food boxes to people in dire straits in our community.

Thankfully, prior to the pandemic in January 2020, we were introduced to a fantastic organisation, Toiletries Amnesty, and we registered with them.

This online directory is a listing of groups around the world who are looking for toiletry donations: From large volumes of warehouse-closing stock, to individuals gifting a few products, the site is a great way for donors to connect with organisations that need what they have.

This has proved to be a major boost for us, and throughout the pandemic we received over 100 donations from individuals, organisations and businesses through the site.

Now, the pandemic has passed, we are happily situated in our new premises at the Staple Tye Play Barn, and we are very excited to announce that we are now, finally, official members of The Hygiene Bank network.

Which means that drop-off points in Boots stores across Essex and Hertfordshire, will now be sending their donations to Community Embrace UK.

With millions of people across the UK facing increased living costs, and finding that personal hygiene and grooming products are becoming luxury items, we are very grateful to be in a position to increase the amount of ways donors can help us support our community.

Make a donation

Donate toiletries

It isn’t difficult to imagine how quickly you would become uncomfortable if you didn’t have sanitary products, soap, or toothpaste when you needed them. And it’s easy to understand why people self-isolate when they don’t have these products over a prolonged period.

We invite you to help us support individuals experiencing this difficult, and very personal challenge, by donating toiletries to the Community Embrace UK Hygiene Bank, for distribution through our outreach programmes.

Far from being a small donation: a tube of toothpaste, bar of soap, or pack of sanitary pads, are spirit-lifting gifts to the recipient, and always gratefully received.

Where to donate

Here are some options for making a donation:

  1. Drop off direct to our premises at the Play Barn at Staple Tye, during opening hours (see below), or
  2. Drop your donation in one of the big yellow boxes at any of the Boots stores listed below, or,
  3. contact us, and we’ll organise collection

Big Yellow Box locations

Boots, Cheshunt Brookfield Centre, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross, EN8 0NN
Boots, 37 Broad Walk, Harlow, CM20 1JA
Boots, 9 North House Bush Fair, Harlow, CM18 6PA
Boots, Bush House, Bush Fair, Harlow, CM18 6NS
Boots, 4-6 Fawkon Walk, Hoddesdon, EN11 8TJ
Boots, 223 High St, Epping, CM16 4BL
Boots, 66 High St, Ware, SG12 9BA
Welwyn Garden City
Boots, 65 Moors Walk, Welwyn Garden City

Location & Opening Times

Saturday: 2:45 to 4pm
Sunday: 12.25 to 2pm

The Play Barn, Great Pardon Community Association,
Staple Tye, Harlow, CM18 6YJ

Community Store Partners

Stores, wholesalers & brand sponsors - will you join us?

Community Embrace UK has been supporting our community during difficult times since 2016. We have achieved this by building a network of local and regional businesses and organisations, who have generously supported us by providing the food and supplies needed by those experiencing crisis.

As a new initiative within the Community Embrace UK hub, the Hygiene Bank offers a unique opportunity for businesses looking to increase community support, build brand awareness and make a significant impact at a grassroots level, within our neighbourhoods.

If you would like to host one of our big yellow boxes in your store so your customers can donate, you can apply through the UK Hygiene Bank project to be a local collection point for us. If you’d like to find out more about that, please either visit their website, or contact us for a chat.

We welcome large donations from wholesalers and manufacturers, as well as the opportunity to chat if you are interested in brand sponsorship.

Whatever the reason for you interest, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.