TOY CAP PROJECT
Sonja, James and Klara Holloway | England
Dental Hygiene for people without shelter, 2020
"A few months ago I was at an event in North London and happened to speak to someone who shared some statistics about homelessness and dental hygiene which was astonishing. On any given night in London in 2019, about 170,000 people were sleeping rough (that’s 1 in 52 people in the city!). Many of them do not use a toothbrush or even think about oral hygiene or know that they could access help with the British health service - they have different priorities and issues.
When we talked about this as a family, we realised that James had amassed a collection of wash kits that he had been given on flights in 2019. This was an opportunity to create care packages and re-packaged all of the wash kits with toothbrushes, toothpaste and a pair of socks. We took these to St Mungos, a local charity that supports people sleeping rough with temporary accommodation to help them get on their feet again and support them to gain employment and other meaningful skills. We told a neighbour of ours who will do the same this year with all of her aeroplane wash kits too, so we hope to have started something special in our local community.
Klara had a great time helping us put together the care packages and took them to a St Mungos shelter with us last week. We hope that in joining in on our TOY Cap Project she has started another great tradition of helping those in need with the basic things we take for granted. She brushes her teeth every day too!"