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Free sanitary products on offer at Suffolk libraries

PUBLISHED: 13:20 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:47 02 November 2018

Gail Kerrison, Sarah Lungley and Sharon Harkin at the Pride and Periods launch  Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

Gail Kerrison, Sarah Lungley and Sharon Harkin at the Pride and Periods launch Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

The Pride and Periods scheme has been launched by Suffolk Libraries after a survey revealed 1 in 10 girls in the UK can’t afford to buy sanitary products.

Suffolk Library Service is giving free sanitary products to the women and girls who need them most   Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoSuffolk Library Service is giving free sanitary products to the women and girls who need them most Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Research has also shown that women can spend up to £18,000 during their lifetime on sanitary products, pain relief and comfort items. At up to £13 on average a month meaning for many women sanitary items are not affordable, let alone items to help make their monthly experience more comfortable.

A recent poll by Always has also shown that period poverty can have a huge detrimental effect on women, ranging from missing school days to struggling to find employment and sadly, women experiencing period poverty seem more likely to suffer with anxiety and depression.

Suffolk Libraries is now piloting providing free sanitary items, no questions asked, in eight different libraries. The items have been donated by supporting organisations East of England Co-op, Pink Parcel and Bloody Good Period and can be requested by completing a simple, discreet form in the library and handing it to a member of staff.

The sanitary items are a mixture of all flows for tampons and pads and preferences can be requested on the form. Though exact matches and amounts can’t be guaranteed, staff will do their best to provide customers with what is requested or something similar.

Sarah Lungley, mental health and wellbeing coordinator, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to launch Pride and Periods, and hope that it will help in the fight against period poverty in Suffolk. Affording the right kind of protection, or any at all, can be a real struggle for some and this can have a big effect on their life.”

“We also know that stigma surrounding periods can make it difficult for some women, or those from the transgender community, to access sanitary items and we hope that by offering free items through our libraries, we can help this.

“Pride and Periods is a no questions asked project; our staff will provide what is requested using a form, or as similar product as possible.”

Currently, items are available from the following libraries:

Ipswich County Library

Broomhill

Chantry

Rosehill

Gainsborough

Stoke

Bury St Edmunds

Lowestoft

Bungay

Newmarket

It is hoped that further libraries will be involved in the near future.

If you have any questions or would like to enquire about making donations, please feel free to get in touch with sarah.lungley@suffolklibraries.co.uk.

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