Beauty Banks – Providing Essential Supplies

person washing his hand

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Sali Hughes, co-founder of Beauty Banks, described the birth of their organisation in a recent Guardian interview:

“While filming a report on homelessness for the BBC, I noticed a small box under the front desk of a homeless shelter. In it were single tampons, disposable razors, mini toothpaste tubes and mismatched tablets of soap. These, I discovered, were brought in by members of staff and volunteers, so that when homeless clients had a job or a housing interview, a health appointment, a period, they could access the hygiene essentials most of us are able to toss into a shopping trolley with scarcely a thought. I texted a photograph of the understocked crate to a friend and colleague, Jo Jones, and within 48 hours, we had launched Beauty Banks”.

Beauty Banks is a non-profit organisation – like Foodbanks but with essential personal care & beauty items instead. They collect, re-package and distribute parcels to their charity partners, registered foodbanks and shelters, who ensure donations get to those who need them.

At our Essex Women’s History Festival on Saturday 9th March, we will have a box where attendees who wish to donate can leave unused beauty and hygiene supplies such as face wash, shampoo, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, flannels, and moisturiser. We will then pass these items on to Beauty Banks.

If you can’t attend our festival but would still like to support Beauty Banks, or would like more information about them, please visit their Facebook page.

Charity Auction – Can You Help?

Dame Helen Mirren shoes image credit Helen Mirren PR UK

Shoes donated by Dame Helen Mirren are currently on display at Epping Forest District Museum. Image courtesy of Helen Mirren PR UK.

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Our “Essex Women; Adversity, Adventure and Aspiration” is currently on display at Epping Forest District Museum, who are organising a charity auction in aid of the women’s charity, Safer Places.

The exhibition itself reveals the hidden stories of women who lived in Essex and explores how women’s roles and opportunities have changed since the first UK women gained the right to vote in 1918. It also aims to dispel the negative stereotype of ‘Essex girls’ and their white stilettos, by highlighting the lives and achievements of Essex women.

Alongside our touring exhibition, Epping Forest District Museum are displaying shoes  worn by several notable Essex women with fascinating stories, including Sally Gunnell, Kate Silverton, Penny Lancaster and Dame Helen Mirren.

These celebrity shoe donations will form part of a charity auction being held at the museum in March in support of Safer Places, which supports women in Essex who are suffering from domestic abuse. The charity helps to rebuild their confidence and empower them to achieve what they thought would be impossible.

There will also be a raffle during the event.

If anyone would like to support the event with a raffle or auction prize please do get in touch with Epping Forest District Museum by calling 01992 716882 or emailing museum@eppingforestdc.gov.uk