A project in Salford is encouraging people in the city to help end period poverty in celebration of International Women’s day.
The cost of sanitary products means that many people are unable to afford them but Salford’s The Red Box Project aims to stop young people missing school or families falling into debt or skipping other essentials as a result of period poverty.
Elaine Kenny, the deputy chief officer at the project, said: “I think it’s important in this day and age that women shouldn’t suffer due to their periods because of lack of access to products.
“I think the Red Box scheme also has the ability to stop young people losing days from education as well. Girls shouldn’t be uncomfortable about staying in school just because they’ve got their period.
“Periods aren’t something that we choose to have unfortunately, and I’m not sure many of us would choose to have them, so the ability of being able to pay for products and that not being an issue is just fundamental.”
There are many ways to get involved with the Red Box Project, especially in Salford. The easiest way is to donate sanity products at your local collection points.
“There are are various places – Morrisons, Hairdressers and many more places you can donate – across the city.
“They can become a collection point so if for instance they work in a company or they’ve got shop and they think they might like to be collection point for a short time they can do that.
“At Christmas a lot of places did that instead of sending Christmas cards.”
According to the International Woman’s Day website more than 137,700 girls missed school last year because they couldn’t afford sanitary products.
The project, which is run by women for women, thinks International Woman’s Day is the perfect opportunity to discuss this and is encouraging people to talk about period poverty, especially schools, and asking people to donate products.
Elaine says: “I think the great thing about the Red Box Project is that it is primarily a women’s-based organisation for women to help other women. That can be done in so many different ways.
Want to know more about period poverty? Watch below:
“By donating one pack of products, which is a relatively cheap and easy thing to do, can have the same effect of having a high profile event. So I think it’s very inclusive and allows all women to help each other on varying levels of time, commitment and cost.
Red Box is also asking the government to provide free menstrual products in both colleges and schools across the country to try and and end this issue across the UK, including Salford.
“Salford has aspects of poverty across the city and there are different areas where poverty is more prevalent then other places but I think it’s an aspect that affects all cities.
“People that are suffering are trapped completely. So if you’re a mum with three teenage daughters, that’s four of you having periods, and that can be quite an expensive monthly expenditure. For people who are struggling for food, fuel and to pay their rent it’s just an extra cost.”
Thank you to the everyone who donated at Langworthy Cornerstone Red Box collection point. This will help so many young people ?☺️??❤️
— Red Box Project: City of Salford (@RBP_Salford) February 12, 2019
Another way that people can help is providing a place for people to get help if they need it.
“People can just promote and talk about it or of they run a group that involves young people, young girls, they can ask to be beneficiaries of a box which again is a great thing.
“We are always open to people saying ‘can we have a box?’. It’s a two-way thing, there is a collection aspect to it and there are the recipient of the red box as well.”
If you are in trouble and need help getting period products then you can contact the Red Box Project through their Twitter or Facebook pages, or head to a food bank as many now have a stock of products available.
See their Twitter here.