A CHARITY which provides toiletries for patients who end up in hospital unexpectedly is in need of donations.

Smellies for the Sick, which is ten years old this month, needs help to support patients at Southend Hospital.

The initiative, part of the Southend Hospital Charity, collects toiletries for patients admitted to hospital without their own belongings.

It was started by Christine Mason in 2004, who, while visiting her mother in hospital, noticed the lack of toiletries available to patients.

The fund regularly supplies toiletries to 19 hospital wards and runs purely on donations from the public.

Christine said: “I was visiting my mother in hospital on a daily basis and one of the ward sisters mentioned they were short of toiletries.

I came back the next day with a small collection to help out and they were so grateful. I could see a real need for this type of service.”

The charity needs items such as talc, deodorant, bubble bath, aftershave, shower gel, toothpaste, hair brushes and combs.

Kayley Fletcher, the hospital’s community fundraising manager, said “Smellies for the Sick has provided an invaluable service to our patients over the past ten years and we are so grateful for their continued support.”

There are six collection points where you can take toiletries: St Andrew’s Churches, Ashingdon and Rochford, Canewdon Endowed Primary School, Dr Jones Surgery, Hockley, the general office or information desk at Southend Hospital and Energie Fitness for Women, Southend.

Businesses interested in hosting a collection point can call 01702 204377, or e-mail christine.