Central England Co-op gives support to new project in Market Harborough tackling hygiene poverty

A project aiming to tackle the issue of hygiene poverty during these uncertain times has been boosted with a grant from Central England Co-op to support its set up in Market Harborough.

The Hygiene Bank is a national charity that was established to support people who have a lack of access to hygiene products due to financial constraints as they are forced to prioritise feeding their families and keeping a roof over their heads.

For many on a low income, especially those who rely on food banks, these essential products have become out of reach luxuries and with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the situation is likely to worsen.

A Hygiene Bank is currently being set-up in Market Harborough to cater for what the founders believe is a hidden need in the area and its set-up has been boosted by the donation of £200 in vouchers by Central England Co-op’s Southern Membership and Community Council (MCC).

Judy Rowley, from the Market Harborough Hygiene Bank, said: “Market Harborough is the sort of place where there are hidden needs, especially Harborough District-wide, as I know from the amount of food that the Food Bank here distributes.

“Even in an area like this, there may be widespread redundancies when the furlough scheme ends, and this will cause more hardship for many families, and we would like to be ready for this.

“The vouchers and what we can buy with them will give us a brilliant start on the new venture, and we are very grateful indeed to the Central England Co-op for their generosity and support.

“The products will be given to families who are so short of money to pay for their food and rent that they cannot afford to even buy enough soap to wash their hands as frequently as we are being told to do in this time of COVID-19.

“It's hard for most of us to imagine this degree of hardship and the mental and physical effects it causes, from susceptibility to preventable infections to bullying at school because of body odour, and for girls to miss some of their education every month as they are unable to go to school.”

Karen Bevan, Membership and Community Relations Officer at Central England Co-op, said the MCC was keen to support the project.

She said: “When we first heard about the Hygiene Bank being set up in Market Harborough, the Southern MCC were very keen to donate some vouchers to this very worthy cause to help the project with its set-up as it is a great example of co-operation making a real difference in the local community.

“Hygiene and period poverty are very real issues affecting people in our communities and during these uncertain times are likely to be exacerbated so we are determined to help where we can.”

More information about the Market Harborough Hygiene Bank can be found on Twitter @thbharborough or Instagram @thbharborough, while any local businesses or organisations in Market Harborough able to support as collection points, with storage space or to make donations, can email judy.rowley@virgin.net

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community in response to Coronavirus by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

Our 7,900 colleagues serving our Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Phone - 01543 421390

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop