1.7K local people support a Facebook fundraising Initiative which offers local businesses low-cost advertising

Bretherton Law have created a Facebook advertising group to support the local branch of The Hygiene Bank.

The Hygiene Bank is a charity that exists to provide people with the basics they need to stay clean in a bid to wipe out hygiene poverty which, unfortunately, is an increasing problem in the current cost of living crisis. The local branch covers Harpenden, St Albans, Hemel and Luton.

Can you imagine not having soap to wash your body or toothpaste to clean your teeth? Many people locked in poverty or those who find themselves in times of crisis often find themselves having to make impossible choices: heat their home, pay their rent, buy food or keep clean. The Hygiene Bank asks people to donate new and sealed products, like shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant which are then collected, sorted and distributed to a network of community partners – a mix of organisations, charities and schools, who support local people in poverty.

Bretherton Law is one of the few firms left who offer Legal Aid funded advice to support vulnerable families in St Albans, London and the Northern Home Counties. As a result they see first-hand the devastating impact of hygiene poverty. Sandra Bradley, Child Law Solicitor and Managing Director at Bretherton Law comments, “Despite the Southeast being one of the wealthiest areas in the UK, hygiene poverty is very real in this area. Children affected suffer at school with anxiety and are often the victim of bullying and social isolation. Any kind of poverty creates self-esteem issues which are only compounded by an inability to have access to basic personal hygiene and domestic cleaning products. This is not a problem that should exist in modern society.” The fundraising concept is simple. Bretherton Law have created a Facebook group called “St Albans, Harpenden, Luton and Hemel Business Advertising & Recommendations” which they encourage anyone interested in supporting both the charity and the local economy, to join for free. Everyone can join the Facebook group but any business that wants to promote their goods and services within the group, is asked to make a one off £10 donation via a Just Giving Page.

To date the Group has gained 1.7K followers and raised £420 via donations from local businesses. Sandra says, “When a business donates not only can they post into the group made up of 1.7K people from the local community but we also post a very public thank you which features on all our social networks. It’s a very cheap advertising opportunity for a local business.” Sandra continues, “For the people who join the group it’s a free way to support this fantastic charity. This initiative enables everyone to support the charity, even those who cannot afford to donate.”

Lorna Harris and Katy McCarthy (joint coordinators of the local Hygiene Bank projects) say “We are so grateful for this fantastic fundraising initiative by Bretherton Law – through their connections within the local community they have raised these wonderful funds which enable us to do so much. Money means that we can make purchases through a charitable wholesaler called In Kind Direct (set up by King Charles III) to whom large brands donate excess stock, and from whom we can purchase items at much reduced prices meaning that every £1 donated has the purchasing power of about £5.

Since we set up the Hygiene Bank locally in 2019, we have distributed over 52 tonnes of toiletries across the 4 towns that we work in, all with 100% volunteer power. We work with so many groups whose service users need our help; the homeless, prison leavers, refugees and asylum seekers, long term unemployed, those fleeing domestic abuse, children, mums and dads working but struggling to make ends meet – poverty can happen to literally anyone. Every penny that is donated to us is spent on toiletries to make a difference to those we are supporting.”

For more information on The Hygiene Bank, including details of local drop off points, visit: The Hygiene Bank:

Or follow the local projects on Instagram: @thbharpendenandstalbans or @thbluton

Or to join the FaceBook group, visit: Facebook St Albans, Harpenden, Luton and Hemel Business Advertising & Recommendations