Girls can still access free tampons and period products through their school during coronavirus
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Schools across Suffolk have been urged to claim free tampons and sanitary products for their pupils from a government scheme to help support young female pupils.
The Government introduced the scheme at the start of the year which allowed all state-maintained schools and 16-19 colleges and sixth forms to access free period products for their pupils.
It came as part of a drive to help lessen the impact on girls’ education during their period, and help support low income families which struggled with the prohibitive costs of the essential products.
MORE: Stay up to date with the Suffolk Coronavirus Facebook pageDespite the coronavirus lockdown, the scheme is continuing, and schools have been urged to make sure they still provide them for their pupils.
Following the confirmation by Personnel Hygiene Services (PHS) – the contractor delivering the scheme for the Government – that it will be continuing deliveries in lockdown, Suffolk County Council’s Labour group has written to Suffolk’s schools.
Councillor Kim Clements, the group’s spokeswoman for women and equalities, said: “Even though schools across the country are closed to the majority of pupils, periods have not stopped for this pandemic.
“We must continue to tackle period poverty and ensure that girls and young women are not left without.
“PHS are still delivering free sanitary products and schools are able to opt in to this scheme to gain access for students who need them.
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“These products can be delivered in ways that accommodate social distancing measures, perhaps alongside the delivery of the free school meal provision which already exists.
“Let’s help reduce the stress and anxieties of young women at this challenging time by providing them with these essential items.”
Labour councillor Jack Abbott added that some schools were not aware of the scheme, or did not realise it was continuing during the coronavirus lockdown.
Councillor James Reeder, Conservative cabinet member for public health said: “All schools in Suffolk were sent information in February this year regarding the availability of free sanitary products for their students.
MORE: Access to GPs and medication in lockdown - what you need to know“We are aware that since that time, much has changed for schools but we are still encouraging them to make use of the funding that has been allocated to them by central government to access products and continue to support students who may not otherwise be able to access sanitary wear at home.”
Girls who need access to sanitary products should contact their school to find out what arrangements are in place.