Two charities team up to end period poverty

Two charities team up to end period poverty

A MIRFIELD charity has teamed up with the Red Box Project in a bid to end period poverty.

Winter Warmers, set up by Mirfield resident Sarah Watkinson to help provide homeless people with warm clothes, has gone from strength to strength since launching last year – and now it will be making monthly donations of sanitary products to the Red Box Project.

The scheme was launched in 2017 to give young women in schools access to free menstrual products.

The idea is that people from the local community donate tampons, sanitary towels, underwear and tights to their nearest ‘red box’ donation point. That box is then distributed to schools in the local area so that vulnerable and disadvantaged girls have free access to products.

Sarah and Winter Warmers trustee Karen Smith are working with the Red Box’s Kirklees co-ordinator and fellow Mirfield resident Loraine Farren to help girls in the district. Loraine set up the Kirklees Red Box Project in April this year, and now has five people volunteering with her to help provide products for 11 schools from 31 donation points. The Red Box Project has been rolled out at Mirfield Free Grammar, Spen Valley High School, Brian Jackson College in Heckmondwike, BBG Academy in Birkenshaw, Shelley College, and King James’ School in Almondbury.

Loraine said: “It’s a simple scheme, made with love from people in the community for the girls of the community.

“It’s free access for disadvantaged and vulnerable girls to be able to go to a teacher and get what they need.”

There are donation points at all the North Kirklees libraries – Mirfield, Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton, Batley and Dewsbury – as well as various shops across the district, including Asda Dewsbury and Boots Chemists in Mirfield.

Sarah said: “It’s a subject people need to talk about. There’s always been an element that we don’t talk about it, but people need to be aware of period poverty.

“We’re really proud to be a part of it and to be supporting Loraine and the Red Box Project.

“It’s picked up massive momentum and we want to keep that going.”

Sarah made the charity’s first donation on Monday, which included two extra boxes of sanitary towels donated by St Anne’s Project in Leeds.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff has also thrown her support behind the project.

For more information or to get involved with the project, email loraine.farren@gmail.com.

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