The Red Box Project aims to stop period poverty

The Red Box Project ensures that sanitary products are accessible for all young women in Kent schools.

The Project was initiated in March 2017 by three friends who wanted to give young women in their local area access to sanitary products after reading about period poverty in the news.

Red boxes full of sanitary products are sent into schools in the Deal, Dover and surrounding areas for young women to access discreetly and for free.

Christine Tonks, Area Coordinator for East Kent, gave more information on the project.

She said: “The women who originally founded the project, decided to take action and contacted several secondary schools in Portsmouth to ask if a constantly stocked box of sanitary wear would be welcomed.

“The feedback from teachers was that the issue was real and the resource was needed. Recognising that the need was nationwide, they invited women from across the country to be a part of this movement and the response was overwhelming.

Affirmation notes that Christine Tonks puts into the brown bags.

“From Scotland to Cornwall, women began to group together and set up Red Boxes of tampons and towels in their local schools. They fundraised, collected, had craft sales and donations drives, all to make sure their boxes never became empty.

“Items in the red box include a range of sanitary pads for various flows, tampons, feminine wipes, spare knickers, deodorants and even flannels, body wash and many of us make little drawstring bags for them to take away. We also provide brown paper bags for privacy.

A Red Box before and after it has been packed with sanitary wear.

“The schools play a vital part in the scheme by advocating the right “keeper of the box” then placing posters up in the female toilets, making all staff aware and taking the opportunity to mention it during the female section of sex education classes.

“There are a few ways people can get involved. One is donating sanitary products at local donation points.

The red boxes that you can find at local donation points.

“The other option is to set up a red box in a school near you, we are always excited to hear from potential new coordinators and have a fantastic support network to help in the setting up phase.

“We provide the Red Box for free as we are aiming at ensuring period poverty no longer exists.”