This kind of feedback from one of our charity partners is what drives our 200 volunteers to give up their free time for The Hygiene Bank.
“I’ve worked with vulnerable young people for 15 years and the work of The Hygiene Bank is so needed, now more than ever. I love taking your care packs filled with essential toiletries and sometimes special smellies or make-up to our clients and seeing their faces light up. I wanted to tell you about one girl who I shall call Katy, who specifically asked me to say thank you on her behalf.
Katy is 20 and has lived in a supported housing unit with 14 other young people for the last 18 months. Katy and her three siblings were taken into care when Katy was around 7 yrs old because her mother could no longer cope and sadly her mother ended up taking her own life. For a couple of years there were visits and stays with a grandmother, but when she passed away, things drifted and Katy lost contact with her siblings.
Katy spent the next 8 years in several different foster homes always moving school, and had a very disruptive childhood. As soon as the chance for independence came, Katy took it and at the age of 17 she left care. She spent the next year or so sofa surfing with friends before ending up homeless and on the streets. Thankfully it was then that Katy was given the support she needed. A charity found her a place lo live and helped her successfully apply for the benefits she was entitled to. Katy went to college got 6 GCSEs and is now doing a foundation course in book keeping.
Katy does her best with her government allowance, she pays her rent, her utilities and her bus fare to college. She is doing so well I am so proud of her. But the truth is, that money doesn’t go very far and it’s not the first time she’s spent an evening in the dark because she has run out of money for the electric. The first time I turned up with a bag full of basics like deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and sanitary pads, Katy cried. She really cried.
She couldn’t believe there was a charity out there that cared about her welfare like that. On another visit I brought her some make-up also donated by The Hygiene Bank. I just wanted to tell you what a difference you are making, not only to Katy’s life but to all those that have benefited from your donations.
These young vulnerable adults have no family to fall back on and giving them these basic things, means they maybe they have a few pounds to go out with and do what other kids their age are doing. Living. God bless you.”