Basingstoke schoolchildren being given essential toiletries by charity during cost of living crisis
The charity currently supports 45 schools across the country
The cost of living crisis, rising energy bills and the increase in the price of food has left people up and down the country struggling financially. That includes people in Hampshire, where students and their families are facing being unable to afford basis amenities.
One charity has stepped in to help, providing students at the Costello School in Basingstoke with essential toiletries that they might otherwise have gone without this winter. MCKS Charitable Foundation set up the project in 2021 after visiting schools and hearing stories of children not brushing their teeth for three years and entire families sharing one toothbrush.
The charity currently supports 45 schools across the country with aims to increase this to 100 over the next year. Each school cupboard supports around 25 families a week and has become a vital life line for children and their families.
Costello School is a mixed secondary school with approximately 1173 students, 182 are eligible for free school meals according to Gov.uk. Assistant Headteacher Claire Seddon commented on the help being provided, saying: “We are extremely grateful to MCKS charity and the work they are doing to support families and children in Basingstoke”.
MCKS wants to expand their reach more widely and is encouraging schools with pupils in need to get in touch. 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.
Research from The Hygiene Bank and Boots revealed that 84 per cent of teachers asked said that the cost of living crisis has meant that more children are going without basic hygiene items. They have suggested this leads to children missing school days and showing lower levels of engagement with their peers.
The type of products the charity provides includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gels, deodorants, food and sanitary pads. MCKS Chairman Les Flitcroft has 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”.