FREE sanitary products are being given to schools, colleges and youth projects across Carmarthenshire as part of a new campaign to tackle period poverty.
Boxes containing sanitary products are being distributed to all 97 primary and 12 secondary schools, as well as colleges, youth groups and third sector organisations.
Called #PeriodPovertySirGâr, the project is being led by Carmarthenshire Youth Council with support from the council’s youth service and education department and funding from Welsh Government.
The aim is to make sure girls do not miss out on their education because they do not have adequate protection during their period and to change people’s attitudes towards menstruation so that it is no longer a ‘taboo’ subject.
Posters and pin badges have been produced to help raise awareness, along with a social media campaign; and if girls see the #PeriodPovertySirGâr logo on a toilet cubical door it means there are free products there to use - no hassle, no fuss and no questions.
CYC Executive Board Member Amber Treharne, aged 15 from Burry Port, said: ““I am so excited to be leading the Carmarthenshire Youth Council period poverty project alongside Freya Sperinck as it is such an important issue.
“It is heartbreaking to hear about stories where girls are missing out on education due to not having sufficient protection whilst on their period so it is clear something needs to be done.
“I hope that this project does make a difference within Carmarthenshire so we can come one step closer to ending period poverty once and for all.”
A total of 177,760 sanitary products have been purchased to fill the period poverty boxes; and the youth council is planning to launch a GoFundMe page so that the boxes can be replenished when needed.
Council Deputy Leader Cllr Mair Stephens has agreed to become Carmarthenshire’s Period Poverty Champion.
She said: “I was pleased and honoured when the youth council asked me if I would become the Period Poverty Champion as this is a very serious issue which is happening right here on our doorstep affecting education, health and overall quality of life.
“Figures show that one in 10 girls aged between 14 and 21 living in the UK are unable to afford sanitary items, which is shocking. When we think about poverty, we think about food and housing, but this is a genuine concern, and the fact that periods are still a taboo subject for many makes it even more difficult to ask for help.
“This has to change, we need to start talking about it and we need to start taking action. I am extremely proud of the work that is being carried out by the youth council and hope the residents of Carmarthenshire will support their campaign.”
The campaign was launched at the Carmarthenshire Youth Council Annual General Meeting at County Hall. Help raise awareness and show your support, join in the conversation on social media by using #PeriodPovertySirGar