A scheme bringing free sanitary products to students recently visited a Richmond college after students raised concerns about period poverty.

The Red Box Project is a national initiative, founded two years ago in Portsmouth.

It has distributed more than 3,750 red boxes to educational institutions, working with organisations such as Always and Tampax to end period poverty.

The project visited Richmond upon Thames College on April 23, after Early Years students Julia Clarke and Destiny Gomes raised concerns through the college’s Voice Forum about the ability of students to access vital products.

Deborah Stephenson, RuTC’s Student Services Manager, said: “We are very excited to work together with the Red Box Project, who kindly agreed to support the college after the issue of period poverty was raised by Early Years students through our Student Voice processes.

“Period Poverty has damaging effects on girls’ futures, including their education.

“Having the red box in our college, we hope that no student has to miss lessons due to the lack of sanitary products and that this will support them in achieving their goals whilst with us.”

According to the girls’ rights charity Plan International UK, one in ten girls is unable to afford sanitary products, one in seven struggles to afford it and almost 50% of girls miss entire school days because of their period.

Julia and Destiny found that, although sanitary vending machines are provided in many places, sometimes girls can be caught off guard by their period and do not have the coins needed for the machines.

Having the option to get free sanitary products from the red box will help students on these occasions.

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