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IHREC Research Tender

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Help Us

Enact Change

We have been granted funding by The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to research hygiene poverty in Ireland. Hygiene poverty or hygiene insecurity is a seldom known form of poverty, affecting greater proportions of the population than the current CSO definition of poverty and current deprivation indicators capture.

Education is the Pathway to Change

IHREC Research Tender

Our project aims to increase awareness and understanding of hygiene poverty, allowing us to advance greater economic equality. With a better understanding of hygiene poverty contextualised with other forms of poverty, our long-term goal is to influence the definition of poverty to account for hygiene poverty and ensure that ‘the inability to afford hygiene items’ is included as a deprivation indicator.

We aim to partner with a researcher to conduct initial qualitative and quantitative research into the prevalence of hygiene poverty, factors that lead to hygiene poverty, and the impact of hygiene poverty. THBI will use this evidence and data to underpin our awareness-raising work and our campaign to tackle hygiene poverty by influencing the conversation on poverty and the living wage more generally.

If you are interested in applying you can do so via the instructions in the tender document or if you wish to learn more about the project please reach out here.

  • How do I get toiletries
    Thank you for getting in touch with us. I'm sorry that things are difficult at the moment. I'm afraid that we cannot provide products directly to individuals. All of our products are distributed via our Community Partners such as Family Resource Centres. I would suggest in this case that you contact your local Family Resource Centre who should be able to provide you with assistance. You can find your local Family Resource Centre here - https://www.familyresource.ie/family-resource-centres-ireland.php
  • Do you take nearly full or barely used toiletries?
    Unfortunately we do not accept nearly full or barely used products. We know this seems wasteful but can't accept them due to health and safety reasons. We also believe in empowering dignity; just as you wouldn't give an already used product as a gift, we want to show our recipients the same respect.
  • What are your most needed items?
    We can never have enough roll-on deodorant, nappies, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
  • What products don't you accept?
    We cannot accept prescribed medication, health supplements and vitamins, body slimming and weight loss products.
  • Do you take open packs of disposable nappies?
    Yes. It is quite common for a baby or toddler to grow out of a size of nappy part way through a packet. Parents may have tried or accidentally purchased a new brand which didn’t suit their child or they might have left spare nappies in a different bag, in the car or at the grandparents’ house only to find that once again their child had grown out of them. Rather than throw them away we’ll distribute them support families in crisis or in need such as women’s shelters and refuges, mothers facing homelessness, parenting support organisations and community organisations.
  • Do you take adult incontinence products?
    We are unable to accept adult incontinence products. However, if these are items that were received from the HSE then we have been informed that the HSE does now take these back and they can be returned via the same service that delivers them. We have received the following info from the HSE that we are able to share - The customer care number for Homecare Medical (who operate the delivery service) is 1800 911400. Alternatively, the service user or carer/NOK can contact their local Public Health Nurse (PHN) or primary care centre who will assist them in facilitating a collection. Unopened boxes that are collected are returned to our stock, while the products from opened boxes are distributed to appropriate charities. You can also contact a local hospice or nursing home, as they will sometimes take donations of these sorts of items.
  • Do you take open packs of tampons?
    No. The lifespan of a tampon is said to be 5 years, but a wrapped tampon after its expiry date has passed looks the same as one bought more recently. Tampons are not sterile items when wrapped and so can be susceptible to mould and infection (this can be unseen in the applicator). This can cause irritation and infection and in more serious cases, onset of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Some brands such as Carefree do not use expiry dates whilst Tampax show two dates on their boxes: one is the production date and the other is the expiry date. Currently, organic tampon brands do not have to state their expiry date. As you can see it is all a little confusing so to be safe we must air on the side of caution.
  • Do you accept make-up?
    We love make-up and these are always greatly appreciated. Mascara and lipstick can make a huge difference to someone's mood and confidence. For health and safety reasons we can only take new and unused make-up.
  • Do you accept cloth nappies and reusable period pads?
    We do not accept cloth nappies or reusable period products. Unfortunately these are not practical for the families and individuals we assist as they do not have access to private laundering facilities. On average a baby can use 50-70 nappies a week which requires a significant cost and time commitment to laundering. The families and individuals we assist are already facing very stressful circumstances so we aim to provide them with the easiest options possible. We do try where possible to give out moon cups but in truth there is not huge demand. Many of those in temporary accommodation or homeless don't have frequent access to the cleaning and sanitation facilities required. Many of our users are young girls and most public and school loos have washing facilities outside of the cubicle.
  • Do you take hairdryers, electric styling products and shavers?
    Currently we do not accept any electrical items.
  • Why do you give out products that aren't environmentally friendly, contribute to the plastic problem or aren't cruelty-free?
    While we are environmentally and ecologically aware in our own lives and try to apply ethical and sustainable practices with the organisation's resources, we know that these choices are a privilege not everyone can afford to make. We are here to make lives easier and receivers of our donations are struggling to survive with their dignity intact. Therefore our primary concern is to support them and we appreciate all donations. However we do recognize that many everyday essentials from toilet paper packaging, plastic bottles, toothbrushes, deodorant and cotton buds are not environmentally or animal friendly. We are looking at ways to mitigate the harm and appreciate suggestions from our supporters. Many donations are given to us in plastic bags and rather than dispose of these bags they are reused to distribute goods to our charity partners.
  • How do you know the need is genuine?
    Our model ensures we only support organisations who in turn have their needs policies in place. Working with frontline agencies also ensures that all of end user beneficiaries receive the necessary ongoing support in order to target the root cause of their problems.

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