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New service tackles period poverty during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 16:55 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:41 26 March 2020

Sams Coffee House in Bevan Street East, Lowestoft. Picture: Sams Coffee House

Sams Coffee House in Bevan Street East, Lowestoft. Picture: Sams Coffee House

Archant

Schools and community cafés may have closed temporarily during the continuing coronavirus crisis, but help is available for young people in need.

A Lowestoft-based organisation has launched a new service to tackle period poverty across East Suffolk during these “difficult times.”

Access Community Trust chief executive Emma Ratzer. Picture: Julian ClaxtonAccess Community Trust chief executive Emma Ratzer. Picture: Julian Claxton

The charity, which works in communities throughout Suffolk and Norfolk to combat homelessness and social exclusion, has temporarily closed its five community cafés and hubs – but they are still determined to help those in need.

Under the strapline of “periods don’t stop for pandemics” new posters promoting the service were unveiled at the launch.

Access Community Trust has launched a new service to tackle period poverty across East Suffolk and help those in need. Picture: Access Community TrustAccess Community Trust has launched a new service to tackle period poverty across East Suffolk and help those in need. Picture: Access Community Trust

It states: “Don’t worry if you have been affected by your school or our community cafés’ temporary closures, because we can still help you for free.

“Let us know what you need, your name and address by texting 07520 649 185 and we will aim to deliver these items contactlessly to your doorstep within 24 hours in discreet unmarked packaging.”

It adds that the service is available throughout East Suffolk between Monday to Friday “during these difficult times.”

All contact information will be destroyed after delivery.

The service, which is free of charge with no proof needed and no questions asked, is now operating to tackle period poverty.

It adds: “With schools and our community cafés currently closed, the need to help young in need has never been greater.”

Emma Ratzer, chief executive of Access Community Trust, said: “In our community cafés this service was used very well by young people in need.

“But with the closure of the community cafés and schools temporarily, up until now we have not been able to address this issue in our area.

“So by launching this new service it means anyone can text that number now, include their name and address and we will deliver items to them with no questions asked within 24 hours.

“It is vital and something we are keen to give back to the community.”

According to the latest figures, one in 10 girls can’t afford to buy menstrual products.

More than 137,700 children in the UK have missed school because of period poverty.

– For more inspirational stories about how people are coming together to help others in need, join our ‘Here to Help’ Facebook group.

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