The Brick work with Wigan sixth form to tackle period poverty

The Brick collecting sanitary items donated to tackle period poverty from Winstanley College students
The Brick collecting sanitary items donated to tackle period poverty from Winstanley College students

Students at a leading sixth form college have been helping to tackle the sensitive issue of period poverty.

Rhianna Watt and Kimberley Littler, who are studying at Winstanley College, have been taking part in the Red Box Project in association with Wigan charity The Brick.

The scheme ensures no young woman misses school or college due to not having sanitary products and seeks to increase free access to these vital items in places of learning.

Hundreds of Winstanley students and staff have donated to the cause.

Rhianna said she got involved because she was appalled that period poverty was still such a problem and blasted the authorities whose policies end up raising the price of sanitary items.

She said: “I was shocked to discover that one in seven girls struggle to afford sanitary wear and 49 per cent miss time in school as a result of their period.

“I can’t believe that in this day and age, women are paying a ‘luxury’ tax on sanitary products, just because they are deemed by EU rules to be ‘non-essential’.

“I, along with every woman, am well aware of just how vital these products are.

“I was eager to set up a campaign that would help women in our local area combat the problems of period poverty by encouraging people to donate sanitary products to The Brick.

“Perhaps in the future we will be able to take greater steps towards ending period poverty, but for now, we must continue to help those who are struggling in any way we can.”

The donations to the Red Box Project were picked up by Sue Bode and Amanda Bradshaw from The Brick.

The charity, which helps to tackle homelessness and help Wiganers living on the breadline, could be enjoying more generosity from Winstanley as the students’ union at the college has named it their local charity partner for the next 12 months.

The union’s charity committee president, Alex Heggarty, said: “The Brick is a local charity that we’re all familiar with and it offers an excellent opportunity for students to get involved in tin collecting or the donation of old clothes.

“Homelessness is a huge issue and we want as many people as possible to play a part in helping.”