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‘Smellies for the sick’ 10 year anniversary

18 March 2014


‘Smellies for the Sick’ is 10 years old this month and still in need of donations to support patients at Southend University Hospital.

The initiative, part of Southend Hospital Charity, collects toiletries for patients admitted to hospital without their own belongings.

Started by Christine Mason in 2004 while visiting her mother in hospital and noticing the lack of toiletries available to patients that enter hospital unexpectedly;  the fund regularly supplies toiletries to 19 hospital wards and runs purely on donations from the public.

Christine said: "I was visiting my mother in hospital on a daily basis and one of the ward sisters mentioned they were short of toiletries, I came back the next day with a small collection to help out and they were so grateful. I could see a real need for this type of service."

'Smellies for the Sick' are always in need of items such as talc, deodorant, bubble bath, aftershave, shower gel, toothpaste, hair brushes, hair bands, shaving items and combs.

Christine added: "We try to retain dignity. People are unwell and the last thing they want is to feel they are receiving charity, so we have arrangements with the wards and provide what they need."

There are currently six collection points where you can take your unwanted toiletries; St. Andrew's Churches, Ashingdon and Rochford, Canewdon Endowed Primary School, Dr. Jones Surgery, Hockley, General Office or Information desk at Southend University Hospital and Energie Fitness for Women, Southend.

Local businesses interested in becoming a collection point can find out more from Christine by calling 01702 204377 or email christine.mason@rochfordessex.net

Kayley Fletcher, the hospital's Community Fundraising Manager, said "'Smellies for the Sick' have provided an invaluable service to our patients over the past 10 years and we are so grateful for their continued support. We would also like to thank the local organizations, and businesses such as Energie Fitness for Women, who help collect toiletries and raise money for this wonderful voluntary service."

'Smellies' have been generously supported throughout the years by many community groups and businesses including Leigh on Sea Lions Club, Energie Fitness for Women, Keymed, Hood Group, Canewdon Endowed Primary School, St Michael's and all Angels Church in Leigh, Shoeburyness & Thorpe Bay, Windsor Garden and Rayleigh Baptist Churches.