Bucks New University and Bucks Students’ Union have announced that staff and students - and the Bucks Free Press - are joining forces with the Beauty Banks charity to help local people living in hygiene poverty with its Give to Refresh initiative.

The university, in Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, is the first university community in London and the south – and only the second in the UK – to set up a public donation point so that local residents and businesses can also get involved.

Beauty Banks links donations of personal care and hygiene products for women and men to local registered charities (including food banks, homeless centres, refuges and secondary schools) so that what’s donated locally, stays local.

The most requested items – all of which must be unused – are shampoo/body wash, toothbrushes/toothpaste, disposable razors, deodorant, face wash, sanitary products, nappies/baby wipes, teenage products such as spot cream, and make up.

Travel-size products are particularly useful for people living in temporary accommodation and homeless centres because it’s easy to carry them from place to place.

Give to Refresh donations can be taken to reception at the university’s blue Gateway building at its High Wycombe campus, which is open from 6am to 10pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am-7pm at weekends.

Jo Jones, co-founder of Beauty Banks, said: "Beauty Banks is a people-powered movement and as such we reply on people to power us forwards. Thanks to keen and active supporters like Bucks New University we are able to support more people in our communities living in hygiene poverty who need a hand-up."

High Wycombe retailers Lush and Waitrose have already supported the project with donations of products.

Staff from Boots in Eden Shopping Centre store have personally collected more than 100 donations from their colleagues.

Christina Demetriou, vice president student involvement from Bucks Students’ Union, said: “We believe that being clean is a basic human right, not a luxury or privilege.

“Everything we collect will be given to local charities registered with Beauty Banks so all donations will help those in our local area who need it most.

“We urge local charities who could benefit to register with Beauty Banks.”