Schools and colleges across the London Borough of Havering are being reminded that they can apply for free sanitary products to help fight period poverty amongst young girls.
Every state school and college in England can order sanitary products for their students funded by the UK Government, but according to campaigning organisation Free Periods, only 4 out of 10 colleges, primary and secondary schools have signed up to the scheme since its launch in January 2020.
The issue was raised in the Make Your Mark Campaign 2019, being voted in the top five concerns in Havering. Many local schools have already adopted the scheme.
Havering Youth Council carried out research into the issue and received feedback from more than 700 young people.
Their survey showed that more than 8 out of 10 did not know who was responsible for menstruation support in their school whilst more than 6 out of 10 felt embarrassed to ask for products
The Youth Council have since worked with the Council’s Public Health team to put period poverty on the agenda in schools.
They would also like to see it included on the curriculum for boys and girls to help reduce the stigma associated with the periods and to ensure staff have an empathy and understanding of the issues young girls face.
Daisy Robins, Youth Council and former London Youth Assembly Member, said:
I sincerely hope that this scheme has a significant positive impact on the lives of all young people who currently face period poverty. I believe this is another small step in the right direction in supporting young people in the ways they need it most and am proud to have been a part of this campaign.
Free Periods provide a template letter so people can get in touch with their local school or college and let them know about the scheme and social media graphics to help campaigners spread the word.
Guidance on the scheme and how to place orders is available here.
Photo: Free Periods