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Tricky Period project extends to West Norfolk - offering free sanitary products to those in need

PUBLISHED: 10:29 01 February 2018

The Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Picture: Ian Burt

The Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

West Norfolk libraries will now be offering free sanitary products to women and girls in need.

The Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Pictured at the library in King's Lynn is librarian Alison Thorne. Picture: Ian BurtThe Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Pictured at the library in King's Lynn is librarian Alison Thorne. Picture: Ian Burt

The Tricky Period project, which began in Norwich libraries, has now expanded to libraries in Dersingham, Downham Market, Gaywood, Lynn and Hunstanton.

Launched today (February 1), the libraries will offer items – no questions asked – to anyone who is in need.

The Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Picture: Ian BurtThe Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Picture: Ian Burt

The idea first came about when community librarian Caroline Varney-Bowers heard about the Homeless Period, where homeless women struggled to afford sanitary items, which prompted her to further research about period poverty.

She found that it was also an issue for women and girls from low income families, with some girls in the UK missing school because they cannot afford sanitary protection.

The Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Picture: Ian BurtThe Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Picture: Ian Burt

Following the success of the project in Norwich, librarian Alison Thorne decided to introduce the free service in West Norfolk.

She said: “It had worked so well we thought why not introduce it here? South Norfolk have just joined and it could be in every library before long, which would be really lovely.

The Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Pictured at the library in King's Lynn is librarian Alison Thorne. Picture: Ian BurtThe Tricky Period project is starting in West Norfolk libraries from February 1st. Pictured at the library in King's Lynn is librarian Alison Thorne. Picture: Ian Burt

“There has been a big debate about this, women are asking why are we paying a lot more for the bare essentials, for something we have for almost our entire life.”

Anyone in need can visit the library, pick up an order form and tick the products they need - up to two items. Staff will place the products in a discreet paper bag.

Ms Thorne said they have received hundreds of products from the public, with some donated in personalised bags with a message written in a card.

“We have had masses of donations and people have come in with bags saying what a great idea this is.

“We have been given so much and we want people to come in and not feel embarrassed to ask for any.
“We have enough female staff so just come in and say you have heard about the project and we can take you into a room and show you what we have.”

The libraries are working closely with schools in the area and leaving posters in toilets of businesses to spread the word.

To find out when your library is open, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries.

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