Partnership Manager, Amy Harris tells us about the forthcoming pilot project between The Hygiene Bank and on-line brand Smol.
So what’s the project?
THB and Smol have partnered to provide an Multi Academy Trust in Blackpool with a washer dryer and a regular supply of products for use in one of their schools.
This initial project, which will be going live, soon, is a pilot with the view to provide machines to other schools in need, in other areas in the future.
How did the idea come about?
Smol were already donating their products to THB but Paula Quazi (Co-Founder) wanted to do more. She was particularly concerned about the effect that hygiene poverty can have on children, socially and academically. She wanted to help families who didn’t have access to washing facilities in the home.
Paula came up with the idea to provide the amenity within the local school environment and has been instrumental in organising the project.
Why start with Blackpool?
Blackpool is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, with high unemployment and child protection rates. The number of children being looked after by the local authority is one of the highest nationally.
Child poverty is a huge issue here and the Multi Academy Trust in Blackpool opened for five days during the 2019 Christmas break to provide shelter, food and warmth for vulnerable pupils. Staff volunteered their time, fully aware that many children were returning to homes without carpets, heating, and food.
The schools in Blackpool are depended upon by parents to provide this extra support as outside resources are limited or non-existent.
Many families in this area do not have washing machines and dryers in their homes, having to wash clothes in sinks and bath tubs. We know the devastating effect that hygiene poverty can have on young children and so this partnership with Smol is tremendous news. It has the potential to improve the quality of life for a large number of families in Blackpool.
We will endeavour to keep you updated as the pilot progresses and the possibility of future Smol projects in the future.