In line with our vision of creating healthier happier communities, we recently asked our teams to contribute to The Body Shop’s campaign donating sanitary products to local schools to support girls who can’t afford them. This was led by our Health and Wellbeing Committee who were moved to get involved after hearing that:
- 1 in 10 girls aged 14-21 can’t afford menstrual products
- Half of all school girls miss a full day of school because of their period
- Sanitary products in the UK are classed as a “luxury, non-essential item” and taxed at 5% – despite the fact that the average lifetime cost of sanitary products is estimated at £4,800. Meanwhile, products such as crocodile and kangaroo meat, toffee apples and bingo do not fall into this category!
- 40% of girls in the UK have used toilet roll or old socks because they cannot afford menstrual products
- Last year, research found women who have experienced period poverty are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression
Following an amazingly generous response from colleagues right across our company, we were very pleased to hand over our donations to The Body Shop in Truro to add to their collection of sanitary products. The Body Shop is collecting in association with The Red Box Project which is a community-based initiative providing free period products to local schools. The items we collected are going to be given to school nurses for distribution initially to girls at Richard Lander and Penair schools in Truro, but The Body Shop is continuing its campaign and anyone can pop into the Truro store to donate products.
There is still much work to be done in schools to empower girls to have the confidence to go to their school nurse for sanitary products if they are unable to afford them, and campaigners are continuing their pressure on the Government to remove tax from these products and not consider them a luxury item. To find out where you can donate products in your local area, take a look at The Red Box Project’s Locations list.