Teachers Reveal How Cost-of-Living Crisis is Impacting Hygiene Amongst Schoolchildren

Survey by Boots and The Hygiene Bank spotlights the growing issue of hygiene poverty across the UK

Thursday 25 August 2022, UK: As millions of children are returning back to school after the summer holidays, a new survey from Boots and The Hygiene Bank reveals that almost all teachers (97 per cent) report that some of the children in their care need more basic hygiene items. 

To help more children start the new school year with confidence, Boots and The Hygiene Bank have launched a new campaign to donate hygiene products to children and schools. This September Boots will donate an additional 50,000 products to The Hygiene Bank, including items that children really need like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, deodorants and period products. These will be distributed through The Hygiene Bank’s network to schools and local community projects to support children and families who are experiencing hygiene poverty on a daily basis. 

Members of the public can donate products at any one of the 500 drop off points for The Hygiene Bank found in Boots stores across the UK, or make a donation straight to The Hygiene Bank by buying an e-Voucher on

Lucy Reynolds, Director of Communications and ESG at Boots, said

“We know that back to school can be a challenging time for many families, this year more than ever. Together with the Hygiene Bank we hope to help by donating an extra 50,000 essential products, including soap, shower gel, toothpaste, deodorant and period products - things that many of us take for granted. Having access to these basic items can help young people go back to school with confidence. Anyone can help by dropping off any full and unopened items to any one of our 500 Hygiene Bank donation points in Boots stores across the country. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far.”  

The impact of having easy access to simple toiletries can be huge. Nine in 10 (91%) teachers reported that children with basic essentials are more likely to come into school feeling confident and ready to get stuck into lessons. After supplying pupils with hygiene products, teachers report that pupils seem happier (60%), they interact with other pupils more (45%) and 42% said they thought the pupil was more willing to learn.

Over three quarters (78%) of teachers said that hygiene poverty is a serious issue in the UK, which could be a barrier to children reaching their full potential at school, with period products, deodorant and shower gel the most in-demand items for school-aged children.

Ruth Brock, CEO of The Hygiene Bank, said:

No child should be getting ready for the first day of term without a clean uniform or the products they need to shower and brush their teeth. Many parents are sadly finding themselves in the difficult position of buying a meal for their family, or basic hygiene necessities like soap, deodorant and period products – and income is becoming even more stretched due to the cost of living crisis. From our work with schools, we know hygiene poverty negatively impacts children’s mental and physical well-being from participation in class and sports to self-isolation from peers. Equally, the demand for our support in schools continues to dramatically grow for both students and their families. Our ongoing partnership with Boots means that together we can help tackle this growing issue and provide essential hygiene and personal care products to those who need them most.”

Boots first partnered with the Hygiene Bank in 2020 and with the support of its customers has seen over a million products donated so far to people living in hygiene poverty. In addition to sending a bumper donation of products to The Hygiene Bank as children head back to school, the retailer is also calling on customers to help. There are now over 500 yellow Hygiene Bank donation points in Boots stores across the UK where customers can donate any full and unopened products. 

The Hygiene Bank has supported over 560 schools across the UK, delivering hygiene essentials to directly support families in need. The charity will often work closely with the family liaison officer who will discreetly distribute products to the children and their families, or items like period products and deodorants can be placed in the toilets for anyone to use should they need to. 



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