New Corby scheme will help to tackle ‘period poverty’ among students

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The Corby Red Box project - which makes free sanitary products available in schools - has celebrated its official launch at Corby Technical School.

The school, part of Brooke Weston Academy, became one of the first in the town to receive a ‘red box’ filled with donated sanitary products and underwear.

Project coordinators Sami Scott, Leanne Buckingham and Ann Wallington say there was an incredible response to the project and, during an assembly, young men and women were given an insight into how the project works.

Sami said: “The Project was started in March 2017 by friends who wanted to find a simple way people could help combat period poverty, where young women were missing out on their education because they couldn’t afford the products they needed during their period.

“We thought it was such a wonderful idea we should launch the project in Corby.

“In only a few months we have had incredible support from businesses including RS Components and Rigid Containers as well as Corby Council and Guide groups across the town with donation points including Tesco and Morrisons.”

The coordinators will liaise with people who want to set up collection points and schools who can have the red boxes refilled once stocks run low.

Leanne said: “Brooke Weston Trust is the first Trust that approached us, but we have also got other primary and secondary schools that now want to get involved.

“It is such a simple idea but the fact that so many people want to take part means that we have growing support.”

The Brooke Weston Trust schools will be supporting the project by setting up collection points so that sanitary items and new underwear can be donated and distributed.

Corby Technical School’s Principal Angela Reynolds said: ”For us to be a part of that community project means that we can contribute and donate, so if we are helping just one person then that is all worth it.”

Leanne and Sami said that nationally 10 per cent of students are unable to afford necessary products, 15 per cent struggled to afford them and more than 12 per cent have had to use alternatives to regular products.

Martine Boyd, Brooke Weston Trust’s senior education and welfare officer, said: ‘This is a hugely worthwhile project and we are delighted that the Corby Red Box team has launched the scheme at our schools.

“Period poverty is a real issue for some students and this is a discreet and sustainable way of ensuring they get the items they need in an accessible location.

“We are hoping that people will fully support this by donating items regularly as just a pound or two extra on their shopping bill will make a huge difference to some of our most vulnerable students.”

The Red Box Project coordinators for Corby can be contacted via Facebook at www.facebook.com/Corby-Red-Box-Project-259125717999113 or at corbyredbox@gmail.com.