9 June 2023

Blooms The Chemist helping women in need through donations of essential items

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Blooms The Chemist is collecting essential toiletries donations for the Wagga Women’s Health Centre. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Blooms The Chemist has banded with the Wagga Women’s Health Centre to collect toiletries essential for vulnerable women in the community.

Situated at their stores in Sturt Mall and Wagga Wagga Marketplace are boxes for people to donate essential toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, roll-on deodorant, body wash, hairbrushes, combs, sanitary pads and tampons.

Pharmacist Claire Robertson said the Women’s Health Centre called out to local pharmacies to help with donations for women in need because they were running short on toiletries.

“Part of being for the community, we thought it was a great incentive and set up dump bins for customers to help donate,” Ms Robertson said.

“People can purchase from us or elsewhere to place their donations.

“By the end of last week, we had filled up one whole bin.”

Ms Roberston said that on Monday (12 June), she would take the donations and a store donation to the Wagga Women’s Health Centre.

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“I’m definitely going to leave one of the bins in the store as a regular thing so people can continue to donate,” she said.

The pharmacist said it was “very important” to support women in need and help those going through domestic violence in the community.

“With the current cost of living, there are women who can’t access or afford toiletries,” she said.

“It is something as simple as needing to go to a job interview and it’s important to have the essentials to be able to go and present well and have a chance of getting a job.

“It is important we can help these women in all aspects.”

Ms Robertson said Blooms The Chemist recently released a statement stating that it was their purpose to see that everyone had access to good health and wellbeing.

“This [helping support Women’s Health Centre] ties in with that, and we’re trying to do everything that we can to let people know this is our purpose and that’s what we’re here for,” Ms Roberston said.

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Women’s Health Centre director Carissa Campbell said the donations from Blooms The Chemist stores were essential and provided the Wagga Women’s Health Centre with an initial contact point for many women.

“Often a woman will come into the centre asking for assistance with toiletries and leave with her deeper needs being met, as we can refer them to other support services like general and financial counselling, the Women’s Health Nurse, Thread Together for clothing assistance, and Carevan,” Ms Campbell said.

“We are helping an average of four women a day with toiletries and, subsequently, other needs. We see young women in their 20s and 30s, older women in their 80s and 90s, and everything in between who have to put their personal hygiene on hold and prioritise their household’s other needs, such as food, rent, and utilities.

“The toiletries support we can offer at the Women’s Health Centre assists in helping these women maintain dignity and wellbeing and empowers them to make choices about allocating their financial resources without leaving their personal needs by the wayside,” she said.

The centre director said the rising cost of living, electricity, and interest rate hikes meant they anticipate more women coming through their doors asking for help in the coming months.

“Working together with local businesses like Blooms The Chemist, where local people are heard and healed, is an integral part of how we can all support those vulnerable members of our local community,” she said.

Essential women’s toiletry items can be donated at Blooms The Chemist at Sturt Mall and Wagga Wagga Marketplace or be delivered to the Wagga Women’s Health Centre at 22 Peter Street between 9 am and 4:30 pm.

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