Business and community organisations come together to support new Hygiene Bank in Harlow

As part of our mission to support our community during these extraordinarily difficult times, Community Embrace UK will be launching a new project in May – The Hygiene Bank - and we would love you to be a part of it.

This new outreach project will operate as part of The Pantry, Harlow, an initiative we launched in 2021, which redistributes donated food to the vulnerable in our community every weekend at the Staple Tye Play Barn, in Harlow.

According to the recent survey, “Hygiene Poverty 2022”, conducted by YouGov, 6% (approx. 3,150,000), of the UK population is currently living with hygiene poverty, unable to afford basic personal hygiene products, such as shampoo, sanitary products, soap, toothpaste, and deodorant.

The report highlights that, nationally:

  • 13% of those from lower-income households, are affected by hygiene poverty
  • 61% state that it has negatively impacted their mental health, and,
  • nearly 40% report self-isolating and avoiding friends and family.


Of the most disturbing figures in the report, 41% of parents reported a negative impact on their children’s mental health, while 32% reported a negative impact on school performance.

Sadly, the problem is much more severe in Harlow and the surrounding areas.

According to a 2019 report, seven of the 100 most deprived areas in England are here in Essex, with Harlow finishing bottom of the list as the 20th most deprived area in England.

From our own experience, with the staggering increase in people accessing The Pantry, we know that many in our community are having to make the distressing choice between buying food or buying hygiene products. They simply can not afford both.

The Hygiene Bank brings the community together to restore personal dignity

Once launched, the Hygiene bank will provide opportunities for the entire community to contribute towards tackling this problem, and restoring dignity to affected individuals.

Products for distribution will be donated by the public, through a network of collection points in pharmacies and other local stores, and through local businesses and community organisations, either in the form of financial sponsorship or product donation.

Those in need can access these vital personal products in two ways:

Visitors to The Pantry will be able to select what they need from donated supplies, and individually tailored hygiene/toiletry packs, containing every day essentials such as sanitary towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower gels, deodorants, aftershaves etc., will be distributed to those most in need.

As a local organisation, we are turning to you for support to help us combat this problem, whilst at the same time, promoting your products and services to the wider community.

As a small, local organisation we are flexible, and able to work with you to tailor make sponsorship opportunities that benefit both your organisation, and those in our community experiencing this distressing situation.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me to talk through some ideas, or arrange a tour of the project.