End period poverty
Suffolk Libraries are now offering free sanitary items to help fight period poverty in Suffolk.
Did you know that 1 in 10 girls in the UK can’t afford to buy sanitary products?
1 in 7 struggle to afford items or have had to borrow items from friends, more than 1 in 10 girls have had to improvise sanitary protection and 1 in 5 girls are using less suitable items because of affordability. *
Research has also shown that women can spend up to £18,000 during their lifetime on sanitary products, pain relief and comfort items. At up to £13 on average a month, for many women sanitary items are not affordable, let alone items to help make their monthly experience more comfortable.
A recent poll by Always** has also shown that period poverty can have a huge detrimental effect on women, ranging from missing school days to struggling to find employment and sadly, women experiencing period poverty seem more likely to suffer with anxiety and depression.
Suffolk Libraries are now piloting providing free sanitary items, no questions asked, in eight different libraries. The items have been donated by supporting organisations East of England Co-op, Pink Parcel and Bloody Good Period and can be requested by completing a simple, discreet form in the library and handing it to a member of staff.
The sanitary items are a mixture of all flows for tampons and pads and preferences can be requested on the form. Though exact matches and amounts can’t be guaranteed, staff will do their best to provide customers with what is requested or something similar. The scheme has already received a great deal of support and there are plans for more libraries to get involved in the near future.
Sarah Lungley, mental health and wellbeing coordinator comments: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to launch Pride & Periods, and hope that it will help in the fight against period poverty in Suffolk. Affording the right kind of protection, or any at all, can be a real struggle for some and this can have a big effect on their life.”
We also know that stigma surrounding periods can make it difficult for some women, or those from the transgender community, to access sanitary items and we hope that by offering free items through our libraries, we can help this. Pride & Periods is a no questions asked project; our staff will provide what is requested using a form, or as similar product as possible.”
Oli Watts, Head of Communications and Community at the East of England Co-op, added: “As a community retailer, we are always looking at ways to work with local groups and organisations to tackle key issues. Suffolk Libraries’ Pride & Periods campaign is a simple scheme that gives girls and women access to free sanitary items, no questions asked.”
Currently, items are available from the following libraries:
- Ipswich County Library
- Bury St Edmunds
If you have any questions or would like to enquire about making donations, please feel free to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note to editors: The attached photo from the recent launch of Pride and Periods shows from left to right: Gail Kerrison, Library & Information Advisor at Ipswich Library; Sarah Lungley, Suffolk Libraries Mental Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator; Sharon Harkin, Community Engagement Manager at the East of England Co-op.
Bloody good period
Download poster - #FreePeriod Lowestoft