Calling all Hemel women! Please bring a box of tampons or sanitary towels to a special International Women’s Day stall in the town centre and help stamp out period poverty.
Volunteers from the Red Box Project were joined by Hertfordshire Euro MP Alex Mayer, as they encourage shoppers to donate sanitary products.
The Red Box Project is a national scheme, which places big red boxes full of sanitary products in schools and colleges for anyone to make use of free of charge. As well as across Hertfordshire, the scheme, which was set up exactly three years ago, now boasts boxes from Cornwall to Kilmarnock in Scotland.
The Hemel, Berkhamsted and Tring group say that estimates show around 137,700 girls across the country miss school or college each year because they are unable to afford tampons and pads. Meanwhile tampons in boxes across the college will Ms Mayer says: “simply normalise the topic and combat stigma.”
Backing the campaign, Alex Mayer MEP, who is has spoken out against period poverty in the European Parliament said: “Period poverty is a real problem but sometimes it can be hidden. But when a young woman just can’t afford sanitary protection, what choices do they have? Use loo roll, or miss college to save embarrassment? Plus what if you’ve just forgotten to bring a tampon with you? Hopefully this will be a thing of the past in schools across Hemel Hempstead thanks to this scheme.”
Mandi Tattershall, a campaigner against period poverty, said: “Reaching out to the women of Hemel, Berkhamsted and Tring, we’re challenging gender balance, as well as supporting charities by donations for our local Red Box Project, to combat ‘period poverty’ in schools.”
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BalanceforBetter, which encompasses gender balance in both leisure and work. On display there will also be live music, singing and even some rollerskating to accompany information on local organisations.