A collaborative community effort to help young people in need saw 168 wash bags full of toiletries being delivered to those in need of extra support. 

The Hug in a Bag event, at Morrisons in Carlisle, was aimed at those between 16 and 18 years at risk of homelessness, in supported accommodation, with the chance to receive what most of us take for granted on a daily basis. 

The event, which was started by Ann Crook of Period Poverty North and Diane Harrison, an Intensive Early Help Manager at Cumbria County Council, looks to provide those arriving to supported accommodation with 'hygiene dignity'. 

News and Star: INCLUDED: Within the washbags. INCLUDED: Within the washbags.

Organiser Ann Crook said: "I like to think with the Hug in a Bag, if it helped just one person feel a bit better about themselves, that one positive impact could make such a difference.

"168 young people will benefit from our combined efforts today, that's such a nice thought," she said. 

Diane Harrison, 16/17 year olds Homelessness Coordinator at Cumbria County Council, said: "We're seeing people often at their lowest point, so we're just trying to give them some dignity back, there's really no questions asked.

"We try to give young people the hope and belief back that they can achieve anything they want to do. 

"It's about giving kids some form of control of what is theirs, to those of us with homes who don't think about it it may not seem like anything, but to that young person in need it's such a big thing," she said. 

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The project was funded by CFM Cash for Kids and Cumbria Community Foundation, with most of the toiletries being arranged by Carlisle's Morrisons Community Champion Joanne Rayson.

The goods will go on to be distributed to those in need of a helping hand by Cumbria County Council Housing Intervention Officers, Lisa Williams, Paula Corris, Anne Dunne and Andy Kennedy. 

Sara Oldham, from CFM Cash for Kids, said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be involved in this, it breaks my heart that 16-18 year olds are leaving care without toiletries. 

"It's really nice to have someone like Morrisons behind what we're trying to do behind us, they totally get it," she said. 

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