A CAMPAIGN to tackle period poverty in Carmarthenshire has received the support of a major national retailer.
The Body Shop in Carmarthen has agreed to stock free sanitary products to make sure girls have access to adequate protection during their period over the summer holidays.
The #PeriodPovertySirGâr project was launched in April by Carmarthenshire Youth Council, with support from the council’s youth service and education department and funding from Welsh Government.
Boxes containing free sanitary products are being distributed to all 97 primary and 12 secondary schools across the county, as well as colleges, youth groups and third sector organisations.
If the trial at The Body Shop goes well, then it could be extended to other retailers in the county too.
The aim of the project 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.
Store manager at The Body Shop Abigail Williams said: “The reason we wanted to join in and help with this initiative is that it’s such a good and needed project, every girl/woman deserves the right to be able to access these products.
“When we found out the statistics that 1 in 10 girls in the UK don’t have access to these products we were shocked and wanted to do something to help. Doing a bit of googling I came across articles and the Facebook page about #PeriodPovertySirGâr and was impressed with what the girls have achieved in the local area already.
“With the school holidays coming up we are happy to be somewhere where girls can come in judgement free, no hassle and no fuss to get the products that they need any time of the year.”
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 members Amber Treharne and Freya Sperinck, who are leading the project said: “We are very excited that The Body Shop in Carmarthen are working alongside us on the #PeriodPovertySirGâr project! It is amazing that The Body Shop want to keep our box of free products and a supply of free sanitary protection in store for young girls to collect especially outside of school hours. This is a massive step in the right direction for tackling period poverty within the county.”
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 to help replenish the boxes when needed.
Carmarthenshire’s Period Poverty Champion, council Deputy Leader Cllr Mair Stephens said: “I would like to thank The Body Shop in Carmarthen for joining our campaign to help tackle period poverty.
“It is difficult to imagine the affect this can have on a young person’s life and because periods are still a taboo subject for many people, it makes it even more difficult to ask for help.
“By raising awareness, we can start to get people talking about it, and hopefully we can make a difference.”
Help raise awareness and show your support, join in the conversation on social media by using #PeriodPovertySirGar