Norwich libraries to give away free tampons in new Tricky Period initiative

A new scheme has been started by libraries in Norwich to donate sanitary products to homeless women

A new scheme has been started by libraries in Norwich to donate sanitary products to homeless women or women and girls on low incomes. Community l ibrarian Caroline Varney_Bowers. Byline: Sonya Duncan. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Free tampons will be given away from Norwich libraries to homeless women and those on low incomes, thanks to a new community project.

And it is hoped that the initiative could stop the situation where girls play truant from school, because they cannot afford sanitary products and do not want to ask hard-up parents for them.

People are being urged to make donations of products to help with the Tricky Period project, which will be launched later this month.

Staff at Tuckswood, Earlham, West Earlham, Mile Cross, Plumstead Road, St Williams Way and The Millennium libraries have been taking in donations of tampons, sanitary towels and carrier bags for the last few weeks ready to start the scheme on Thursday, September 28.

Community librarian Caroline Varney-Bowers who started the project, said: 'I became aware of a project called The Homeless Period where homeless women struggle to afford these items and did some further research about period poverty.

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'I found this is also an issue for young women from low income families and sometimes leads to girls missing school during their period.

'Library staff have been hugely supportive of starting up this service and we have already had some donations.'

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Order forms will be available in Norwich libraries.

Customers can tick the products they require and hand in their form at the desk and receive the items they need.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council's communities committee, said: 'It's fantastic that our library staff have set up this service which will help vulnerable women and girls in Norwich.

'As well as the problem of affordability, this could potentially improve women's health, as there are risks associated with not changing sanitary products regularly.

'The Tricky Period may also help to reduce period related truancy from school or time off work. I would encourage library users to support the project by making donations of supplies.'

Norwich Foodbank is supporting the project, saying that many who access their services find it very difficult to ask for these items.

The service will be available during library opening hours.

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