Humanists Against Poverty project
Many of us are aware of the increasing demand on food banks across the country. A less visible side to this story is the increasing difficulty facing women and girls in getting the sanitary protection they need during their periods – sometimes called period poverty.
While period poverty in the UK is gaining gradually more attention, including recent discussions in parliament, progress towards ending it is slow. In the meantime, women and girls are facing embarrassment and distress. Girls report missing school as a result of not being able to afford sanitary protection, and women report using unhygienic solutions including unsuitable materials and not changing sanitary dressings when they need to.
What are we doing about it?
We are gathering donations of sanitary protection, along with other useful things (for example, toothpaste, deodorant, wet wipes or shower gel), to be provided to women and girls in York who need them. These will be provided through organisations like food banks, homeless shelters and women’s refuges, and directly to homeless women.
Thanks to a grant we received from Humanists UK, we've already assembled dozens of packs and are starting to distribute them, but we need a constant supply of new donations to be able to keep this going once our initial stock runs out. We're appealing to shops, businesses and community-spirited individuals to donate anything along the above lines. We've been adding a packet of biscuits to each pack too—if a little treat will make somebody smile, so much the better—so we'll happily take things like that as well, but this is not about replacing or copying the very important work already being done by food banks.
How can you contribute?
- We're approaching local supermarkets and community premises to establish collection bins where you can leave donated goods. We'll update this page as soon as each new one appears. If you're in a position to offer a collection point, we'd love to hear from you.
- In the meantime, if you'd like to donate something, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll organise a collection or drop-off.
- Although this project isn't about money per se, there are some things we'll need that realistically won't always be able to be donated in kind: things like volunteers' travel expenses for delivering goods, postage costs, and bags to assemble the packs into. We'd also like to be able to buy more stock when necessary, if donations aren't keeping up with demand. So, if you'd be interested in donating money to the project, Humanists UK have agreed to collect it for us. There'll be a JustGiving link here shortly, but in the meantime feel free to email us or come along to one of North Yorkshire Humanists' regular meetings and talks and leave a donation there.