News Article

Bringing ideas, imagination, creativity and knowledge to enrich lives and build thriving communities

Libraries join the fight against hygiene poverty by partnering with Beauty Banks

Posted on 04 Mar 2019
Sali Hughes and Jo Jones founders of Beauty Banks 37% of people in Britain go without hygiene or grooming essentials every day. (Source: In Kind Direct 2017 survey)

Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs libraries across Devon and Torbay, is joining the fight against hygiene poverty as it announces a new partnership with fellow Nesta New Radical; Beauty Banks.

Beauty Banks is a people powered movement co-founded by PR beauty guru Jo Jones and journalist Sali Hughes. The social enterprise is made up of a community of people who share the belief that being clean is a basic human right and fundamental to our general health, our mental health and wellbeing.

Beauty Banks, which launched in February 2018 collects new and unused products, re-packages them and mindfully distributes them to registered charity partners for distribution to the guests they serve.

Libraries Unlimited will be Beauty Banks’ official partner in Devon. Exeter Library, Barnstaple Library and Paignton Library have been selected as ‘Beauty Spots’; donation points that enable the public to donate products to Beauty Banks. Every product that’s donated in Devon will stay in Devon as each library will be partnered with charities in its immediate area to pass their donations onto. The aim is to roll the programme out to other libraries across the Devon and Torbay network later this year.

Joanne Launder, Head of Service Delivery at Libraries Unlimited said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to announce our partnership with Beauty Banks. Not only were we both named as New Radicals by Nesta last year, but we share a similar ethos of supporting people within local communities and working towards a better society. This joint partnership means that we can reach out to even more people when they are at their most vulnerable and provide them with essential products that they simply cannot afford themselves.”

Exeter Library's new Beauty Spot

She continued: “In our experience, library users are kind, supportive and generous. We’ve seen this in a number of projects we’ve supported, including the national Red Box Project and our own Tricky Period Project, both helping to tackle period poverty. Everyone deserves to be able to access and use personal hygiene products. Our library staff go above and beyond to provide life enhancing services and support to anyone that walks through our doors, so we know they will do all they can to increase donations locally to ensure we help as many people as possible.”

In addition to the Red Box Project and Tricky Period, Exeter, Barnstaple, Newton Abbot, Sidmouth and Seaton libraries have continued to support local homeless charities including Julian House and St Petrocs in Exeter. The libraries act as official drop off points for warm winter clothing which is available for those in need to take without any questions asked. The Real Food Café in Exeter Library also runs a suspended coffee scheme whereby customers can purchase a cup of coffee in advance for someone who needs it.

Jo JoBeauty Banks posternes, co-founder of Beauty Banks said: “This is a partnership made in heaven for us. We haven’t been able to reach this part of the country very much because of the cost of delivering our donations. So having donation hubs in Devon that allow locals to donate and then for those donations to stay local is the perfect scenario. Communities supporting communities and donations that are donated in Devon, staying in Devon is made possible because of Libraries Unlimited.”

Daily essentials that are always needed are; shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, disposable razors, travel sized shampoo and body wash, sanitary pads, men’s grooming products, face wash, baby products – nappies, baby shampoo and body wash. Also accepted are donations of otherwise-unattainable luxuries like makeup. Beauty Banks asks that only unused and unopened products are donated for health and safety reasons.

To get involved and to donate to your local Beauty Spot, visit Exeter Library, Barnstaple Library or Paignton Library from 4th March.


Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.