March 8, 2023
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel…a short list of basics that we possibly use on a daily basis…but what if you can’t afford them?
Let’s do the weekly shop, I need a bottle of shampoo (£1.10), some shower gel (£1), my toothpaste is nearly finished, I’ll get a pack (£2.50) and my toothbrush is looking worse for wear….(£1) All the basics covered and by buying the cheapest brands comes to a total of just over a fiver. Not too bad until you imagine you only have £45 on your ASPEN card to last you all week, for food, toiletries and clothing. This is the reality for most asylum seekers.
When looking at the break down of the £45 allocated to asylum seekers by the Home Office, just 78p of this money is allocated to toiletries to last a whole week (for able bodied adults). That means that not one item listed on my shopping list above would be affordable to an asylum seeker living on their ASPEN card.
A recent article by the BBC looking at Hygiene Poverty reports that a woman they spoke with suffers from acne due to not being able to afford toiletries to wash her face, and of others avoiding social contact due to worrying about smelling. These are the realities of Hygiene Poverty.
Bloody Good Period is a period poverty non-profit organisation that partners with Trinity Centre to provide free period products to those who can't afford them. Trinity Centre distributes these to any asylum seekers or refugees who cannot afford them any day of the week. They are also available in the women's toilets for easy access.
This is why we at Trinity Centre have started a Toiletries Bank – a bank of basics for families in need to keep clean from week to week.
Our biggest problem is stock – we are looking for regular donors to give to our Toiletries Bank to ensure no one goes without. As the cost of living goes up, so does the demand for our Toiletries Bank. We are often having to turn families away as we don’t have enough soap, shampoo or toothpaste. If you’re interested in giving a one off, or a regular donation please get in touch! This could be from a group, or from individuals – our email address is email@example.com and our phone number is 02921 321120.
With thanks to our partners that support us in supplying toiletries to those in need: Bloody Good Period, Cardiff Methodist Churches and other Churches in Cardiff, Cardiff University school of BioSciences, and other individuals and families. Thank you– Thank you for supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Cardiff. We couldn’t do this without you.
BBC article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-63403823
Thank you to Jacci Peach for her support in breakdown of costs allocated on ASPEN cards.