1Do you take nearly full or barely used toiletries?
Unfortunately we do not accept nearly full or barely used products. We know this seems wasteful but can't accept them due to health and safety restrictions. We also believe in empowering dignity; Just as you wouldn't give an already used product as a gift, we want to show our recipients the same respect.
2Do you take open packs of tampons?
No. The lifespan of a tampon is said to be 5 years, but a wrapped tampon after its expiry date has passed looks the same as one bought more recently. Tampons are not sterile items when wrapped and so can be susceptible to mould and infection (this can be unseen in the applicator). This can cause irritation and infection and in more serious cases, onset of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Some brands such as Carefree do not use expiry dates whilst Tampax show two dates on their boxes: one is the production date and the other is the expiry date. Currently, organic tampon brands do not have to state their expiry date. As you can see it is all a little confusing so to be safe we must air on the side of caution.
3Do you take open packs of diposable nappies?
Yes. It is not unusual for a baby or toddler to grow out of a size of nappy part way through a packet or box of nappies. Parents may have tried or accidentally purchased a new brand which didn’t suit their child or they might have left spare nappies in a different bag, in the car or at the grandparents’ house only to find that once again their child had grown out of them. Rather than throw them away we’ll distribute them support families in crisis or in need such as women’s shelters and refuges, mothers facing homelessness, parenting support organisations and community organisations.
4Do you accept cloth nappies and reusable sanitry pads?
We do not accept cloth nappies or reuseable sanitary products. Unfortunately these are not practical for the families and girls we assist as they do not have access to private laundering facilities. On average a baby can use 50-70 nappies a week which requires a significant cost and time commitment to laundering. The families and girls we assist are already facing very stressful circumstances so we aim to provide them with the easiest options possible. We do try where possible to give out moon cups but in truth there is not huge demand and we have a surplus in storage. Many of those in temporary accommodation or homeless don't have frequent access to the cleaning and sanitation facilities required. Some religious groups and cultures do not accept or encourage internal methods of protection. Many of our users are young girls and most pulbic and school loos have washing faciliites outside of the cubicle.
5Do you accept make-up?
We love make-up and these are always greatly appreciated. Mascara and lipstick can make a huge difference to someone's mood and confidence. For health and safety reasons we can only take new and unused make-up.
6What products don't you accept?
We cannot take health supplements and vitamins, body slimming and weight loss products.
7Do you take hairdryers, electric styling products and shavers?
Yes but again due to health and safety restrictions these must be brand new, in their orignial packaging and pre-fitted with a UK plug.
8Why do you give out products that aren't environmentally friendly, contribute to the plastic problem or aren't cruelty-free?
While we are environmentally and ecologically aware in our own lives and try to apply ethical and sustainable practices with the charity's resources, we know that these choices are a privilege not everyone can afford to make. We are here to make lives easier and receivers of our donations are struggling to survive with their dignity intact. Therefore our primary concern is to support them and we appreciate all donations. However we do recognise that many everyday essentials from toilet paper packaging, plastic bottles, toothbrushes, deodorant and cotton buds are not environmentally or animal friendly. We are looking at ways to mitigate the harm and appreciate suggestions from our supporters. Many donations are given to us in plastic bags and rather than dispose of these bags they are resused to distrubute goods to our charity partners.
9How do you know the need is genuine?
Our model ensures we only support organisations who in turn have their referral policies in place. Working with frontline agencies also ensures that all of end user beneficiaries receive the necessary ongoing support in order to target the root cause of their problems.
10Aren't hand-outs just making the problem worse?
All of us rely on publicly funded services and support systems like education, roads, railways and the NHS. And our public services are especially important to people who are struggling, such as our welfare system. We need to strengthen these supports to solve poverty and make sure everyone has a decent life.
11If people want to get out of poverty they should work harder, try more.
Unexpected events can completely change the course of our lives. Circumstances like losing a job, the break-up of a relationship can plunge us into hardship and erode the stability and security we all need. At the moment the design of our economy pulls these people into poverty. Low-paid, unstable jobs, high living costs, the benefits freeze, mean more and more families can’t put food on the table and are locked in a daily struggle to make ends meet, unable to think about a different future. It is hard to break free from the restrictions this places on people. But the social security system can be redesigned so that people can be held afloat in times of crisis rather than being dragged under and so give people opportuntiy.