A NEW survey suggests that many charities are having to hand out basic household essentials such as toilet rolls and shampoo to some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Research by In Kind Direct – a charity that re-distributes household goods to other good causes - has shown that over half of the charities in its network are giving out essential supplies to families struggling to afford them.

Pembrokeshire People First (PPF) joined the network in 2011 to receive goods to help in the running of its daily activities.

But, after seeing people in desperate need, they decided to expand their services to include supplying essential personal care products, with nappies, shampoo and laundry products among the items most needed.

Jen Greene, Volunteer Co-ordinator at PPF, said: “We work with people who have sometimes come out of abusive relationships. One lady who came to us took several attempts to leave her partner.

“Each time she arrived with us she had nothing with her but the clothes on her back. It was great to be able to supply her with the basics such as toothbrush, hair care products, deodorant and make up. Her words were ‘I've never had things like this that were just mine’.”

“Without In Kind Direct we would struggle to provide these essentials, which make such a big difference to the people we support.”

A spokesman for In Kind said: “Not being able to afford shampoo or nappies for their baby is a deprivation that the majority of the British public could not and would not ever want to imagine. For a substantial minority in the UK everyday however, this is sadly a reality, and why In Kind Direct, relies on critical support from some of the UK's largest personal care suppliers and brands. “