‘Soaperheroes’ to the rescue – Deb organises soap dispenser design competition

Deb, a global skin care solutions specialist, is launching a ‘Soaperhero’ hand washing campaign for schools, with a goal to fight the spread of germs and infections in schools by actively encouraging hand hygiene compliance from a young age in a fun and engaging way.

Almost one million bacteria can be created by one child in a school day[1] – with hands often being the main vehicle for this transfer of bacteria. Effective hand hygiene is universally recognised as the smartest means to conquer this threat in schools. Yet, a survey by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine unearthed that only 63.8% of primary school pupils regularly washed their hands with soap at school[2].

In school settings, to reduce the spread of bacteria and encourage effective hand washing, schools must “provide facilities for washing and drying hands which should include liquid soap and tepid running water. Children should also be taught in an appropriate way for their age and ability, about the importance of washing and drying hands to prevent infection”, according to guidelines from The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence[3].

Deb is working to catalyse behaviour change in schools with two newly designed superhero themed dispensers – ‘Soaperman’ and ‘Soapergirl’ – dispensers which have been created to encourage children to wash their hands regularly and effectively to fight-off bacteria. Deb chose to have the characters adorned on dispensing systems as they have been proven to be more hygienic, economical and environmentally-friendly than bar soap or bulk fill systems, and easy to operate for children.

“Encouraging children from an early age, and getting them in the habit of washing their hands as part of their school day, will help ensure that this practice becomes part of their lifelong routine. It is something which every educational establishment across the country should include as part of its curriculum,” said Paul Jakeway, Marketing Director at Deb.

As part of its mission to promote effective hand hygiene in schools, Deb is also collaborating with Handz. The Handz campaign was founded by Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood, after she tragically lost her father to the superbug MRSA. Jenkyns established the Handz campaign to educate the younger generation on how simple hand hygiene techniques can make a real difference in the prevention of infections and illnesses. Through this campaign, schools can arrange for a local MP to visit their premises and speak about how critical hand hygiene can be in schools.

In order to further engage children in the hand washing process, Deb will be running a national competition titled SOAPERHEROES VS GERMS, which will be open for entries from the 1st February until 30th April 2017, where school children will have the opportunity to design a dispenser. The winning design from each of the eight regions in the UK and Ireland will be emblazoned on every dispenser in the chosen school. The winning pupil from each region will also receive a £50 book voucher. 

In addition to the range of ‘Soaperhero’ dispensers and co-ordinated competition, Deb also provide schools with a range of ‘Soaperhero’ themed training and educational materials, both for pupils and teachers. This comprehensive support package includes posters about the risk of poor hand hygiene at school, as well as hand washing mazes and crosswords for children to complete at school. This will ensure that hand hygiene compliance is adhered to in educational institutions around the country, in a fun, engaging and memorable way.


[1] Health Protection Agency: Fun Facts

[2] London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

[3] The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence