From 14 to 20 September 2020 National Hygiene Week will run across the UK highlighting the hidden, but very real, issue of hygiene poverty. From challenges and quizzes to panel talks and events, National Hygiene Week aims to reach as many people as possible because we believe that hygiene poverty is a problem we can solve together.
Southpaw is supporting National Hygiene Week and The Hygiene Bank by launching the Say #BOGOF platform, which encourages consumers to take advantage of high street stores' buy one get one free deals on hygiene products by keeping one and donating the other to The Hygiene Bank. The creative campaign will appear across social, digital, OOH and a bespoke National Hygiene Week microsite.
The strategic creative agency has partnered with The Hygiene Bank over the last 18 months to support them with their marketing efforts, including the National Hygiene Week launch campaign.
Tom Poynter, Southpaw chief executive, said: “It is hard to process that the world’s 5th richest country has such an issue with hygiene poverty in the UK. How did we ever let this happen? It was a no brainer for us to help The Hygiene Bank launch the UK’s first ever National Hygiene Week. Our strategy is to help start conversations in new places around this social injustice and to raise the stakes so society, businesses and government start to wake up and listen. Our say #BOGOF to Hygiene Poverty is the way in to launching the week that is then filled with activities, entertainment and platforms for everyone to join in and participate.
“It’s not right that keeping clean should be a luxury or a privilege for anyone in our society. Hygiene poverty exists, closer to home than you think, and it’s unjust,” says Lizzy Hall, Founder of The Hygiene Bank. “Those who don’t have the means to access hygiene products can be held back from fully participating and contributing to society. It can lead to a crippling lack of confidence and leave those affected feeling isolated, excluded, shamed, bullied and humiliated. It impacts mental and physical health and reduces opportunities for education, training or employment.”
Lizzy Hall, founder of The Hygiene Bank, added: “Those who don’t have the means to access hygiene products can be held back from fully participating and contributing to society. It can lead to a crippling lack of confidence and leave those affected feeling isolated, excluded, shamed, bullied and humiliated. It impacts mental and physical health and reduces opportunities for education, training or employment.”
Poverty strips people of their dignity. Ultimately, solving hygiene poverty is about restoring people’s dignity, self-confidence and mental wellbeing so that they are able to overcome some of the barriers they face and take the necessary steps to move forward.
Many people were at breaking point before coronavirus hit, the pandemic has meant that the number of people experiencing hygiene poverty is so much worse.
The launch of National Hygiene Week on 14 September will (hopefully) coincide with many of us returning to a more interactive world. Schools should be re-opening and furlough will have lifted, but for many the cost of keeping clean will be too high. The last extensive study of its kind done in 2017, reported one-third of people living in the UK and over half of 18 to 24 year olds have had to go without hygiene or grooming essentials or cut down on them due to a lack of funds.
While 8 in 10 primary school teachers say that they’ve seen a rise in the numbers of children coming to school unwashed or not looking presentable in the last five years and have found themselves intervening at an increasing rate. Nearly half of all teachers said they had seen bullying because of hygiene issues.