Record number of Britons turning to charities to source basic health supplies, data shows | Personal Finance | Finance

Data released by the charity In Kind Direct shows adults have struggled to afford items such as surface cleaners, nappies and baby wipes in the past 12 months.

Daily hygiene products such as toothpaste, shampoo and sanitary towels have also increased.

As families try to cope with the rising cost of living, period products, household bleach, razors and even laundry capsules are sourced from nonprofits.

Paul Buchanan, Interim CEO of In Kind Direct, which provides a simple product donation solution by providing charities across the UK with a single point of contact to donate, said: “We believe that every person deserves to feel clean.

“But for people who are forced to make daily decisions about whether to keep warm, eat or stay clean, this human right is beyond their reach.

“As the cost of living crisis unfolds we have seen an increase in demand from our network of charities supporting more people than usual.

“Furthermore, they struggle to keep themselves afloat as they experience high running costs and limited funding opportunities.

“When they hear the term food bank, they usually think of food tins/non-perishable food items being donated.

“But more and more people are struggling to afford essential hygiene items like toilet roll, laundry products, soap and period products, which are so essential, and many low-income families are struggling to budget after food and utility bills.”

82 per cent of charities in the In Kind Direct network reported an increase in the number of people they supported between January and June 2022.

From January to June 2022, some statistics are more supportive, with products that include families with school-age children (76 percent) and those with poor mental health (72 percent).

In response to the findings, Esiti, which manufactures products including Kushell and Velvet, has pledged to donate one million toilet rolls annually to In Kind Direct.

A spokesperson for the Health and Hygiene Agency said: “Toilet roll is an essential need for everyone and no one should have to do without it.

“When we discovered that this was the most requested item in community charities across the UK, we felt we had to act.

“The current economic crisis is a challenge for everyone – but for some it has brought impossible choices between things we can’t live without.

“Everyone deserves to be clean, healthy and have access to the essentials necessary for their general well-being.”

In Kind Direct also released a new health poverty report of 2,069 adults, The Human Right to Health, which found that nearly a quarter (23 percent) of those who go without hygiene products are afraid to leave their homes.

Almost half (47 percent) of low-income households had to forgo health products because they could not afford them.

A third (36 percent) of those who went without a health product this year avoided socializing with friends and family.

22 percent of households with children who reported running out of hygiene products this year say they worry about their children being bullied.

Paul Buchanan from In Kind Direct added: “Feeling dirty can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health and self-esteem.

“No wonder so many people are avoiding social contact, children are starting to skip school, and people are starting to miss days at work when they have to go without essential hygiene products to feel clean and well.

“We are committed to helping as many people as we can, but the numbers are growing rapidly.

“We are counting on the generosity of companies like Essity to support us in donating these essential products so we can distribute them to our network on the frontlines supporting struggling communities across the country.”

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