Meet Sarah Lamptey. Having volunteered for various homeless organisations for years, she was dismayed at how hard it was for homeless people to access basic hygiene facilities. She knew that in other parts of the world daily life on the street was made a little less challenging with access to free showers, but this had never been tried in the UK.
So in 2018, Sarah founded ShowerBox – London’s first free mobile showers, based in a specially fitted van that travels between homeless charities and food banks.
One of Sarah’s first challenges was to find an affordable shower trailer – new ones could cost around £15,000. On Gumtree, she tracked down an old trailer that she could convert, and purchased for just £500.
As the project has grown, Sarah has been joined by a plethora of volunteers and organisations who have donated unsold food, cleaning products, and once a month a hairdresser steps in to give free haircuts. Now she’s expanding from London to Birmingham.
It makes a huge difference to those it helps – to feel clean, to have their sense of worth renewed, and to not be wearing the dirt of the city’s streets. As Sarah says: ‘a boost of a shower can affect one’s mindset, reduce stigma from people in public, people can wash wounds… It’s just all round really rejuvenating’.
Watch Sarah’s Story here…
Sarah’s most worthy cause goes some way to providing a positive space and experience for a vulnerable community. If you’d like to get involved there are many ways you can help support ShowerBox, from volunteering to donating.
“There really has been an incredible community that has formed around ShowerBox. We arrive on a Saturday and it’s like all hands on deck. This wonderful moment of community and interaction and closeness.”Sarah
How You Can Help
If you’d be willing to donate your time, you can contact ShowerBox about volunteering here.
You donate via ShowerBox’s JustGiving page as they get ready to launch in Birmingham.
As you can imagine there are a number of essential items that are needed to keep the shower facilities running. If you can donate any of these items, let ShowerBox know using the contact form on their website:
– Mops/buckets/cleaning items
– New toiletries
– Charging cables
– Hot water urn
– Sleeping bags
– Robust casual clothing and footwear (trainers/boots)
– New underwear and socks
– Shower units
Follow ShowerBox London on Instagram to learn more and keep up to date with their inspiring work.