The Red Box Project Lymington & Brockenhurst aims to help local girls in our area who find it difficult to access sanitary products (pads, tampons etc) due to financial and social reasons (known as ‘period poverty’).
We supply ‘red boxes’ of sanitary products to local schools for girls to access free of charge. Most schools support girls by giving them one product if they require it, but The Red Box project allows girls to take a whole pack (or more) of products to last them for their entire period and some for spares for next time. This is what makes The Red Box Project special.
A study conducted by Plan International UK found that 1 in 10 girls in the UK have been unable to afford sanitary products.
The study also showed that 48% of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their periods.
We have been told of examples of girls in our local area who have missed school and school trips due to a lack of sanitary items, of girls who are not able to ask at home for sanitary products and of girls being ‘caught short’ and having to use rolled up toilet paper whilst at school.
Our project aims to support all girls who are experiencing period poverty for whatever reason and give them back their dignity.
We want our local girls to be able to attend school and not miss out on their education just because they are having their period. By knowing that there is a ‘red box’ of sanitary items that they can access in their school gives girls the confidence to know that they are supported and not at an educational disadvantage.
The research also showed that more than a quarter of girls said that they had used sanitary protection for longer than its intended use because they couldn’t afford a fresh one. This is a health issue and puts girls at risk of the potentially life-threatening Toxic Shock Syndrome. By giving the girls sufficient products, it means that they do not have to take this risk.
We are a community project run by 3 coordinators but have many helpers and supporters in the local community. Our helpers and supporters carry out a range of tasks from hosting donation points, putting up posters, donating sanitary items, making material bags that girls can put packets of pads in to give them discretion and decorating paper bags with motivational message for girls. This great community spirit helps our local girls to know that we are there for them.
By supporting the schools, we take the financial strain of having to supply girls with period products (which often staff are buying with their own money!)
We set up this project after hearing about how girls were missing school. We wanted to do something about this to help the health and wellbeing of our local girls.
We step up as a community to give schools the peace of mind that stocks will never run out and enable them to support disadvantaged young women throughout their period, not just a pad to see them through the day. This is what makes our project unique.
Since starting this project in March, we have placed 20 ‘red boxes’ in local schools and educational settings, supporting as many girls as we can.
Funding would allow us to take this project forward. It would give us the funds to buy more lidded red boxes to place in local schools and the funds to buy other items we require to keep the boxes topped up so that local girls can rely on there always being an ample supply of sanitary items in their school’s ‘red box’.
If a girl tries to access ‘the red box’ and it is empty, we have failed her.
Why should you vote for us? We believe that a young woman's education shapes her future and her health, wellbeing and dignity are our responsibility.
We hope you agree with us and hope you will help to fund The Red Box Project Lymington & Brockenhurst.
Thank you for reading this.