National Hygiene Week 2021 is here! Running from Monday 5th until Sunday 11th July.
The purpose of National Hygiene Week is to raise awareness of hygiene poverty in the UK, by starting important conversations amongst the public. The week is organised by The Hygiene Bank, a UK-wide charity. 2021 is the 2nd annual National Hygiene Week the charity has organised.
What is Hygiene Poverty?
Research by the Hygiene Bank found that over 14 million people in the UK are living in poverty. This means that one fifth of the UK’s population don’t have enough money to meet their basic needs.
Hygiene poverty means that you are unable to afford everyday hygiene products that a lot of people take for granted; such as deodorant or shower gel. This can lead to mental and physical health problems. Especially as there is a lot of stigma in society surrounding both hygiene and poverty.
One major example of hygiene poverty is period poverty. For example, some people end up becoming housebound every month during their period because they can’t afford menstrual products and can’t comfortably go out in public without them.
What is Period Poverty?
phs are focusing on tackling one vital element of hygiene poverty by fighting for Period Equality
Sadly, many people in the UK don’t have access to period products or a safe space to use them. This can result in health issues, missed education or work, and several days of discomfort every month. This lack of access to menstrual products is known as Period Poverty.
Period poverty effects more people than you may realise, with 1 in 14 UK girls saying they have missed school as they could not afford or access sanitary products.
Thankfully the majority of the public are onboard with ending period poverty, with 52% of UK people thinking girls should have access to period products via free vending machines in washrooms. However, we still have a lot of work to do.
phs and Period Equality
phs are working to end period equality across the UK. We provide free sanitary products to English schools and colleges in partnership with the DfE, and work with several Welsh Local Authorities, providing free products to their learners. We also sit on the UK Government’s official Period Poverty Taskforce, Welsh Government’s Period Dignity Taskforce, and Blaenau Gwent’s Period Equality Taskforce. These taskforces all share one common goal; eliminating period poverty.
We also practice what we preach, providing free period products at all phs offices and depots.
How to support people experiencing hygiene poverty in your community
> Provide free products
Whether your premises are open to the public or for employee use only, you can support your community by offering free hygiene products. This could be as simple as providing deodorant and sanitary products in your washrooms.
> Reduce stigma
It’s easy for us to live in our own little bubbles. So, the first step to reducing stigma is to educate ourselves. Then we can help educate others. Reading through the resources on The Hygiene Bank’s website Is a good place to start.
> Make a donation
If you’re fortunate to have some disposable income, you could consider making a financial donation to a charity that’s working to end hygiene poverty. You could do this via The Hygiene Bank or through your local food bank.
You could also donate physical items or volunteer your time. However, before donating physical items, it’s best to contact the charity you’re donating to, to see what they’re most in need of.
How to offer hygiene products in your business
> Offer free sanitary products in washrooms
It’s easy to offer free sanitary products in your washrooms, you can just fill up a nice wicker basket with some hygiene essentials.
Vending machines are also a good way to offer hygiene products, as you can customise them to suit your needs. phs offers a range of vending machines, including a coin free vending machine for menstrual products.
> Provide employees with free essential products
It makes sense to provide your employees with hygiene products that will help them carry out their job. For example, if your employees are expected to work outside during peak summer sunshine, it’s only fair that they’re provided with sun cream.
If you have employees working sleep-in shifts, you could offer everyone complimentary toothbrushes and toothpaste. As well as reducing stigma around hygiene poverty, these hygiene perks will also boost employee wellbeing.
> Keep your washrooms clean and well stocked
There’s nothing worse than being greeted by a dirty washroom. Make sure that your washrooms don’t contribute to feelings of hygiene discomfort by keeping them well stocked with everything from hand soap to fully-serviced sanitary bins.
Helping businesses stay COVID secure with our COVID bundle
>Air Cleaning Technology
- AERAMAX PROFESSIONAL II (for spaces up to 30m2)
- or AERAMAX PROFESSIONAL III (for spaces between 30m2to 65m2)
- BIOZONE (ideal for washrooms)
>Touch Free Hygiene Essentials
- >2L or 5L Auto Sanitiser dispenser (White)
- AIRSTREAM PURE with HEPA Filters (White)
- ECLIPSE DISCREET AUTO Sanitary Bin (Any colour)
- STRI HANDLES
Enhance the hygiene of your premises
Has National Hygiene Week inspired you to enhance the hygiene in your premises? Is so, get in touch with phs to see how we can help your business boost employee wellbeing and reduce the presence of germs and viruses.Contact us today