Schools can help eradicate period poverty in Brent
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Schemes are operating in Brent schools to reduce period poverty by ensuring women who do not have enough money to access sanitary products are helped with this inhibiting problem.
Last year Scotland became the first country to make period products free for everyone at the point of need.
A Bill was passed that meant all local authorities legally now have to provide free period products to people who need them.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council's lead member for housing and welfare reform, said: “Law or no law, this is an issue we are determined to address here in Brent.
"There are resources out there that are available to girls and women in need and it’s important that we help every one of them access support.
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“Period poverty affects a woman’s ability to manage a most intimate and regular occurrence – one many find it difficult to talk about.
"We need to ensure people have a socially acceptable standard of living and can participate fully in society.”
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Period poverty is an issue that affects millions of women and girls who struggle to afford or access safe menstrual protection.
In January 2020, the government launched a scheme to give out free period products in schools.
The scheme aims to help prevent children missing school if they don't have access to products at home and schools can choose items using an online system, but can also place orders via email or over the phone.
“We’ve worked really hard to make our schools aware of this scheme and will continue to do so,” added Cllr Southwood.
“Currently over half of the schools in Brent that are eligible have ordered free period products for students, which is the eighth highest in London with an average spend of £299 per school.”
During the pandemic schools and colleges were able to order a range of period products through the online portal and distribute them to students, whether they are learning from home or at school or college.
Freedom4Girls, Bloody Good Period and The Hygiene Bank are three charities focussing on period poverty and foodbanks also receive donations.
“Help is out there,” said Cllr Southwood.