New Survey Findings: Hygiene Poverty Has Risen in Schools Post-Pandemic

A survey of teachers commissioned by Boots UK and The Hygiene Bank shows 69% of teachers have observed hygiene poverty in pupils

Wednesday 1st September 2021, UK: As children across the country return to school, Boots and The Hygiene Bank reveal the findings of a survey of teachers that shines a light on the true extent of hygiene poverty among their pupils.

The majority (69%) of teachers across the UK have observed poor hygiene as a result of hygiene poverty and believe it has become a greater problem since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly three quarters (71%) have taught pupils with body odour and 75% have seen children attend school in unwashed clothes. Nearly half (41%) have seen students go without period products and over half (62%) with unbrushed teeth.

Alexandra Burke, performer and ambassador for Boots and The Hygiene Bank partnership, said:

“The results of this survey highlight the extent of this issue and show just how important the partnership between The Hygiene Bank and Boots really is. It’s only got worse during the pandemic with families having to make tough decisions on where to spend their reduced income. Growing up, I did notice some children who had no access to hygiene essentials so I saw first-hand the effect that it can have. I hope that by trying to raise awareness for the incredible partnership between Boots and The Hygiene Bank that more families can be helped as we encourage those who are in much stronger financial positions to donate. Let’s tackle this all together and help to stamp out hygiene poverty.” 

To help tackle this growing issue, Boots has increased the number of its stores that host The Hygiene Bank donation points to over 400 across the UK making it easier for customers to get involved. In addition, the retailer has donated over 620,000 products that The Hygiene Bank has distributed to over 155 local communities. Boots also matches customer donations in stores through its You Donate, We Donate scheme.  

Lucy Reynolds, Vice President of Communications, CSR and Sustainability at Boots UK, said:

“At Boots we want as many children as possible to have access to the hygiene products they need as they return to the classroom. It is just one manifestation of hygiene poverty in the UK, which we are committed to tackling by teaming up with The Hygiene Bank to support the incredible work they do in communities.”

Lizzy Hall, Founder of The Hygiene Bank, said:

“Hygiene poverty means people making decisions most of us cannot imagine – like choosing between eating or staying clean because you can't afford both. At The Hygiene Bank, we provide essential hygiene and personal care products to those who need them most. Our partnership with Boots means we can get one step closer to tackling this crisis, one donation at a time.”

To help them tackle hygiene poverty, Boots and The Hygiene Bank are calling for the public to donate some of the most basic products to Boots donation points across the country. The Hygiene Bank is also in desperate need of volunteers that can help distribute these donated products within their local communities.



B-Roll packages can be downloaded below: 

IV Lizzy Hall, Founder, The Hygiene Bank

IV Alexandra Burke, Singer & Songwriter:

IV Paul Hunt, Assistant Headteacher, Marylebone Boys’ School:

GVs Boots Store:

GVs Hygiene Bank Collection Points at Boots:

GVs Marylebone Boys’ School:


For any further information, please contact Karun or Andriana at Sassy:       | +44 (0) 7725 940 179 |  | +44 (0) 7761 255 487 |   

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