Help halt hygiene crisis for the homeless. A small donation to provide soap, toothpaste and sanitary products for rough sleepers could prevent them from contracting deadly infections which seep into their bodies through dirty wounds. Whilst the attention of the world has been on #COVID19, homelessness has continued to rise. With over 300 public toilets closed in the UK and compassionate cafes, pubs and restaurants not opening their conveniences during Lockdown, those on the streets haven’t even had a place to wash. Combined with hypothermia and a lack of dental provision (dentists can spot mouth cancers as well as treat teeth) this could add up to a lethal cocktail of health problems for those on the street this winter, warns the founder of the Homeless-Friendly charity, Dr Zahid Chauhan OBE.“Each Christmas our thoughts turn to the homeless, largely around their lack of warmth, shelter and nutrition, but this year poor hygiene and its impact on spreading lice, scabies and dermatitis plus allowing infections to spread through the body should also concern us” said Dr Chauhan, “A small donation could make a big change and indeed create the kind of confidence required to rebuild a life and get off the streets.”As part of their Christmas Present for the Homeless campaign, Homeless-Friendly is appealing for toiletries to go into small packs, which will be distributed across Greater Manchester through organisations such as the Sanctuary Trust (pictured). Those items can include:• Tubes of toothpaste• New soft-bristle toothbrushes• Packs of tissues • Roll-on deodorants and,• Hand sanitizing wipesThe #charity will also be supplying female sanitary products when required. Mindful of the issue of period poverty, Homeless-Friendly Manager Gail Sutcliffe, said: “It is appalling to think that women are sometimes finding it necessary to use tissues and paper towels because they cannot afford proper sanitary products. Research has also shown that irregular or poor menstrual hygiene can damage reproductive and gynaecological health.” At the onset of Lockdown, the public and small businesses donated cash and items so that homeless people across all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester were given packs, which also included details on where to access healthcare.“Given the economic hardship the public is experiencing, it was an extraordinary response to our appeal” concluded Dr Chauhan. “It is a shame that we have had to ask people to dig deep again, but the homeless are the most vulnerable people in our society and with an average life expectancy of just 45-years-of-age, we cannot simply leave them to the ravages of winter.” To make your donation to the Christmas Present for the Homeless drive, telephone: 0161 371 6165 or email: gail.sutcliffe1@nhs.net

Christmas Present Appeal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *