Rishi Sunak warns there are 'difficult decisions to come' amid cost of …

A charity has revealed a "hidden crisis" of hygiene poverty which prompts people to avoid work and colleagues out of embarassment.

The report claims around 3.2 million Brits are affected by struggles to buy basic sanitary items such as soap and deodorant.

Hygiene Bank chief executive Ruth Brock said it's impacting the most vulnerable and is "much more widespread than we feared."

The charity aims to supply food banks homeless shelters, schools, and other organisations with items including toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, nappies, period products and laundry detergent.

"I think it just doesn't occur to people in the same way that fuel and food poverty do," Brock added. "But the truth is by the time you're not switching on your heating or you're going to a food bank for food essentials, you've stopped buying essential hygiene products weeks before."

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In collaboration with YouGov, the charity revealed that six per cent of UK adults were affected, rising to 13% from lower-income households and 21% of disabled people.

A quarter of their 2,200 participants also admitted they had gone without toilet paper or shower gel.

Meanwhile, three in ten said they did not buy period products.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, the cost of shower gel has increased by a notable 11 per cent, along with shampoo rising by eight per cent.

The price of toothpaste has risen 6%, and the price of deodorant is up 5%.

"Hygiene is important enough," Brock said. "But the follow-on effects of making that change for people also mean that they can then start to access their life chances."

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