North Devon Councillors donate £700 to help period poverty project

Councillor Jacqueline Flynn, Jody Rogers from The Red Box Project and Councillor Caroline Leaver with some of the donations from North Devon Council.

Posted on: 9 October 2018

Councillors from across North Devon have teamed up to donate £700 to a charity which provides access to free sanitary products in schools.

The grant funding has been given by Councillors Biederman, Bradford, Chugg, Croft, Flynn, Leaver, Luggar, Mackie, Mathews, Meadlarkin, Patrinos, Tucker and Webber from North Devon Council. The councillors have each donated a portion of their Community Councillor Grant allocation to the charity.

The Red Box Project is a nationwide, community funded initiative to provide young people with access to free sanitary products to help end period poverty. According to research made last year by Plan UK, one in 10 young women do not have access to these products in the UK and 49 percent of girls miss at least a whole day of school because of their period.

The grant money will be put into expanding the project even further enabling the project team to purchase more donation bins, more red boxes and produce more promotional materials to help spread the word. The grant will also be used to pay for a storage facility so that they can organise the donations more efficiently.

Head of Corporate and Community Services at North Devon Council, Ken Miles, says: “I am delighted that once again Community Councillor Grants are being used to help such a worthwhile cause. This will benefit the young women of school age in North Devon and ensures they don’t have to miss out on their education because of period poverty. Our councillors and staff will also be supporting the project by providing their own donations through a collection box within our offices.”

Project Co-ordinator for The Red Box Project, Jody Rogers, says: “Speaking on behalf of The Red Box Project North Devon, I would like to say how sincerely grateful we are to have our local council helping us to fund our community initiative in providing young people with the access to free sanitary wear.

“Period poverty is a real issue that is happening right now in the UK and to have councillors of North Devon supporting our work is incredibly important to us. Nationwide The Red Box Project often refers to the phrase “community matters” and this can clearly be seen to be true for North Devon and its people.”

The project works by setting up donation points throughout the community where members of the public can donate sanitary items and pairs of brand new underwear via a donation bin or box. The items then get distributed to local schools within the red boxes. By the end of September, three schools in North Devon will have received a red box: The Park Community School, Pilton College and South Molton College.

If you would like to donate any sanitary items or new underwear, there are already 13 donation points across North Devon, including:

• Glow Baby store, Barnstaple
• Barnstaple Library
• Seagrass Wellness, Braunton
• Beauty and The Bleach, Bideford
• Sainsburys, Barnstaple
• B&Q, Barnstaple
• Barnstaple Youth House
• Forches and Sticklepath Children’s Centre, Barnstaple
• G4 Gym, Bideford

The goal of Red Box North Devon is to keep expanding so that eventually they can provide every school and college in the area with a red box. To do this they need to set up as many donation points as possible, so that they can sustain each box they give out.

The project is run completely by volunteers who want to encourage the community to come together to support the young women of North Devon. Once donation points are set up and boxes have gone into schools it is community kindness which keeps the project going.

If you would like more information about how and where you can donate items, or find out how to help, please visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @redboxprojectND. Donations of money can also be made through the project’s JustGiving page.

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Posted in: Community