What is 'Period Poverty'?
(According to Action Aid) 'Period Poverty' is a global issue affecting those who don't have access to the safe, hygienic menstrual products they need, and/or who are unable to manage their periods with dignity, sometimes due to community stigma and sanction. However, it doesn't just include those who have no access to menstrual products; in some instances, limited access to such products leads to prolonged use of the same pads/tampons, which can cause infection.
(According to Bodyform) 'Period Poverty' means being unable to access sanitary products and having a poor knowledge of menstruation, often due to financial constraints.
Take a look at our infographics below to see just how period poverty effects girls in the UK.
What are we doing at HoW College to help?
Here at HoW, we believe that period products should be accessible for all, without shame or embarrassment. We are part of the Government’s period product scheme for schools and colleges, meaning we receive an annual budget where we can purchase certain items to help those who may be struggling with period poverty within our community.
As a result, we have purchased a vast range of products to meet the needs of all! This includes Mooncups and reusable sanitary pads in a bid to encourage and promote sustainability, as well as disposable and organic pads and tampons. All of these products are free and those within our college community are welcome to take as many or as few as they need.
Where can you get free period products at HoW College?
We now have boxes of free products scattered around the College campuses! Boxes have been given out to each department to try and make period products as accessible as possible, and some are available in many campus toilets too.
If any student can’t find period products in their campus toilet and would prefer not to ask their department for products, they can also get in touch with the Wellbeing Team via phone, email or by stopping by in person, where they can then access whichever products they need.
We also have a Microsoft order form for those that would like to pick up a larger supply, although they don’t need to fill in the form to do this.
For those who would like to use the Microsoft order form, this can be accessed by clicking here.
Any student aged 16-18 is able to take as many sanitary products as they need, and we encourage them to stock up for over the holidays and half-term breaks. The scheme is aimed at 16-18 year old's, but any student who is experiencing period poverty can access supplies via the Wellbeing Team.