Collecting and distributing toiletries and hygiene products
Because no-one should have to choose between eating & keeping clean
Bare Necessities is a toiletry bank based in South Manchester, founded by two friends, determined to do something to help local people have equal access to personal hygiene products. Because no-one should have to choose between eating & keeping clean.
In February 2018, we began speaking to our friends and then to three local charities about hygiene poverty which was headlining. These conversations inspired us to found Bare Necessities Toiletry Bank. We quickly realised this largely undiscussed layer of poverty was affecting lots of local people with devastating effects on their lives.
To reach out to as many people as possible we work with existing organisations and charities whose clients are suffering financial hardship or poverty. This way, in helping one, we help many.
We encourage local people to donate toiletries and hygiene essentials at our donation points and local businesses to host our donation bins, either on an ongoing basis, or for a short corporate toiletry drive.
Give local, help local
We work with over 30 different organisations and charities at any one time. These cover all sectors; food banks, street homeless, youth and schools, mother & baby and women; this way nothing is wasted.
Our women’s charities get welcome totes packed full of all the essentials plus a few toiletry treats for those starting with nothing. Our Operation Miniature sessions create beautiful packs of minis and samples to give a confidence boost which everyone deserves.
For our young people its teen survival bags, either nylon back backs in funky colours or cotton pump bags, stuffed with essentials to keep body- conscious teenagers ahead of the game. When it comes to homelessness our crisis kits have handy sized minis, which are easier to carry and store, but punch above their weight to give five days of dignity. We make up starter backpacks for those moving onto supported living accommodation; these are crammed with a months worth of toiletries giving a leg up to those just finding their feet.
It’s our Bare Necessities Bags that sets us apart, it’s evolved along the way, but it pretty much sums us up. Our toiletries are presented in a variety of bags, some sewn by our local WI, and others supplied by a local business. Each one is hand-picked with love by someone who really cares.
Rather than a ‘one size fits all’, we know that needs differ subtly and through our Bare Necessities bags we give choice. It’ll do, won’t do.
Food banks get a broad range of general, full-size toiletries for their clients’ weekly food packs. As toothpaste is one of their most frequently requested items, we created our ‘Give a Smile’ dental bag, each containing 3 month’s supply of dental essentials for either families or individuals.
Board of Trustees
Wendy is an entrepreneurial individual whose career was in marketing and communications. Wendy draws on this experience for the management, processes and development of the charity along with responsibility for internal and external communications with our various stakeholders.
Fiona is a practising solicitor specialising in employment law, who has acted in a professional capacity for charities and has also been a trustee of a charity in the past. Fiona is familiar with the regulatory and compliance obligations placed on charities and understands the importance of ensuring that Bare Necessities is compliant and mindful of its legal obligations.
Beverly has a background in education and healthcare and has witnessed first- hand the implications of deprivation and hygiene poverty. Beverly has a more hands-on role, emptying collection boxes, sorting toiletries and making up packs. She is involved in communicating with local schools to ensure their more needy pupils are provided with essential toiletries.
Abigail is a Stockport GP dealing with the impact of poverty on the physical and mental health of some of her patients. It is this first-hand experience Abigail brings to the charity helping to inform decisions around the organisations and charities we help.
Mike had a career in Banking and IT before retiring. He has worked with the Charity in a hands on role, making up packs and delivering to our charities. He has now joined us a trustee and will use his previous experience to manage the charity finances and IT