A special red box was officially opened by Euro MP Alex Mayer this International Women’s Day.
The Red Box Project is a national scheme which encourages local people to donate sanitary products, and then place big red boxes brim full of sanitary towels and tampons in schools and colleges for anyone to make use of free of charge.
The scheme, which was set up exactly three years ago now boasts boxes from Cornwall to Kilmarnock in Scotland. The Kings Lynn box will join other successful Norfolk boxes in Diss, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and Norwich.
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? Now that’s a thing of the past at West Anglia College thanks to this scheme.”
Andrew Gedge, Assistant Principal at the College of West Anglia said: “According to Plan International UK, one in 10 girls are unable to afford sanitary products every month. The College of West Anglia are committed to ending period poverty and working to eradicate the stigma that exists across the UK. We hope that with the launch of the new campaign we are able to provide free sanitary products to those who need it in order to ensure that each and every one of our students are able to access the education that they deserve. Our recent Ofsted report indicated that we have an inclusive and supportive college environment and this is an example of such an approach that benefits our fantastic student community.”
To make a donation to the Red Box Project you can do so by visiting going to the front desk at reception at the College of West Anglia.