Saturday, 25 May 2024
Saturday, 25 May 2024

Families without and even sharing toothbrushes, the reality for some in poverty

MCKS Charitable Foundation UK is providing schools across the country with support for food, toiletries and sanitary products by sending a weekly delivery to stock up their pantry cupboards.  

After visiting schools around the country last year the unique partnership between the charity and schools has been set up after hearing stories of children not brushing their teeth for 3 years, families sharing toothbrushes and struggling to provide essential toiletries or teenagers sofa surfing and simply not having access to these items.

The charity currently supports 45 schools across the country and aims to increase this to 100 within 12 months. Each school cupboard supports around 25 families a week and has become a vital lifeline for children and their families.

With National Hygiene Week approaching in October the charity is donating 500 wash bags of toiletries for schools across the country to distribute to children who do not have access to these basic provisions.

Longfield Academy in Leicester has been supported by MCKS Charity for over a year and Sharon Maloney, Assistant Principal comments:

“Poor oral health has long-term effects that we don’t often recognise such as negative impacts on confidence which can affect prospects of gaining employment. We are extremely grateful for the charity and the work they are doing”.

The Charity’s Chairman Les Flitcroft said:

“Our charity is dedicated to providing caring and compassionate support and our school pantry cupboards provide an efficient way to get toiletries as well as other supplies such as food and sanitary pads directly to children who need them most”.

Ruth Brock, CEO, of The Hygiene Bank said:

“Recent research conducted by The Hygiene Bank and Boots reports that 84% of teachers said that the cost of living crisis has meant that more children are going without basic hygiene items. The effects are heartbreaking, with children missing school days and showing lower levels of engagement with their peers and school activities. Initiatives like this one with MCKS Charitable Foundation UK make a real difference and show what can be achieved when communities and businesses work together to tackle hygiene poverty.”

Public Health England (now the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities) says, ‘tooth decay can cause problems with eating, sleeping, communication and socialising, and results in at least 60,000 days being missed from school during the year for hospital extractions alone.’

The ‘Oral health survey of 3-year-old children in 2020’ says that Children living in the most deprived areas of the country were almost 3 times as likely to have experience of dental decay (16.6%) as those living in the least deprived areas (5.9%).

Schools who feel they could benefit from this ongoing service are asked to contact the charity for further information as they have the capacity to expand this service to another 30 schools by the end of the year with a weekly support package that includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gels, deodorants, food and sanitary pads.

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