Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

A community group that delivers basic hygiene care packages to vulnerable, or homeless people with the aim of providing them with dignity, has received a care package of its own from the Redcar branch of Darlington Building Society.

The branch has donated hygiene products and other items that will help Redcar-based Shower Me With Love compile care packages for its growing number of recipients.

The social enterprise was established in January this year after its founders, Rebecca James and Jolene Loftus, were assisting a homeless vulnerable person to secure a place in a shelter. During a conversation with the man, he mentioned how he felt dehumanised when he wasn’t able to keep up a hygiene routine whilst living rough.

Inspired by his comments the pair started delivering basic hygiene care packages of soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes to the homeless and vulnerable in the area.

Rebecca James, co-founder of Shower Me With Love, explained: “Since we started Shower Me With Love it has grown rapidly and it has become apparent to us that there is a wider problem in the region that needs addressing.”

The organisation is now in the process of becoming a registered charity, which brought them into contact with Karen Watson, customer service consultant at the Redcar branch of Darlington Building Society. Karen was so impressed by Rebecca and Jolene’s attitude and approach that she requested funding from the Society’s community fund in order to purchase a number of items ahead of the winter period.

Karen said: “I was really inspired by Rebecca and Jolene’s motivation. They saw a problem that needed addressing and devised their own way of tackling it head on with enthusiasm and compassion.

“The positive mental effect and dignity that comes with being able to stay clean and presentable is invaluable. Not only is it a simple, yet effective, way of giving a boost to a person’s self-esteem and mental wellbeing, but there is also a knock-on positive effect on a person’s physical health.

“We’re extremely pleased to be able to contribute in this way and hope that the items we have donated will help a homeless, or vulnerable person, stay warm and clean this winter.”

Rebecca added: “Our care packages have grown from basic bundles to include other important items. As winter approaches, the items we’ve received from Darlington Building Society, such as, lip balm and sleeping bags will become more important to the homeless and vulnerable.

“There is a need for all types of toiletries and hygiene products. We urge everyone to check their bathroom cabinets for unwanted and unused items. Everyone deserves the dignity that goes with cleanliness, regardless of their circumstances in life. Together we can make a difference.”

If you would like to donate items or your time, please join the Shower Me With Love Facebook group, or emailshowermewithloveuk@gmail.com with your details.