Empowering people to improve their green spaces, enhance their environment, and boost wellbeing.
Being powerless to maintain personal hygiene greatly compromises both physical and mental health, exacerbating feelings of inadequacy and ensuring the lack of motivation and confidence needed to create positive change. If that wasn’t enough, the spread of preventable, debilitating disease costs the NHS millions each year. I want to make showers available to as many of those in need as possible, homeless and otherwise. Last year, through funds raised, an old shower trailer was bought, renovated and loaned to winter shelters in London. Without this trailer, many people would not have had access to showers over the coldest months of the year. Now, I propose to put meanwhile use land to brilliant use in London, creating a relaxing garden surrounding the showers at the heart, monitored and maintained by community groups. Students will be able to study the proven, pioneering way in which the solar panels heats water and the space will promote a sense of unity, just as public baths used to.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
ShowerBox was borne out of the human need to feel good and lead a safe life. We all know how it good it feels to have even two days' dirt washed off of us, how restorative it is to be clean. This basic hygiene facility would give the most vulnerable individuals in society a stronger foundation from which to make a longer term plan - should that be the wish - whilst reducing the stigma received from the public and boosting self-esteem. It will also boost the sense of community and promote unity. My father speaks fondly of his Saturdays washing at the baths, being one of nine this was the only viable option for his family and he was able to see friends. The 1 euro showers in Toulouse reportedly relieve many elderly people of their feelings of isolation. In Paris there are free showers available and in Madrid there are one euro showers too. Lava Mae has several shower buses in California - none of this is far-fetched! Let's help make each day less of a challenge for those in need.
Steps to get it done:
Following my HuffPost article in July last year (based on the lives of those sleeping rough) and an ensuing petition, I decided to do what I can personally do to help those in need have access to basic hygiene facilities in London. I fundraised for a trailer and had the aforementioned showers donated by green company, Navitron. I believe that by using meanwhile use land, there is the added bonus of putting empty space to brilliant use, and once the land is needed back, the showers are portable so may be moved to another location. My application is for the first location alone. I am in the process of locating this land and need funds to help renovate the garden, convert containers into community offices and to assist with the (low cost) utility bills. This website includes further details and images: www.showerbox.org. Many thanks!
About the space
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames