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Free Sanitary Products To Be Offered To Girls In England For The First Time

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Free Sanitary Products To Be Offered To Girls In England For The First Time

A teenage girl has successfully led a campaign, demanding her local authority to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges and academies.

Women spend around £18,000 on sanitary products in their lifetime, but some girls in low-income families often have to prioritise rent and food over tampons and pads.

The campaign by 13-year-old Paige Pilkington has pushed Milton Keynes Council to help her tackle period poverty in the area.

Paige started the campaign after realising that girls at her school were unable to afford basic sanitary products.

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Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

A recent study carried out by Plan International UK found that 45 per cent of women in the UK have had to use newspaper or socks before.

Paige told Metro: "Period poverty is very real and not just in my little part of the country. I decided enough was enough. If young girls are missing school, in 2018, something has gone terribly wrong!"

The teen also added that she had friends in school who would miss lessons because they didn't have any tampons or pads. Although Paige used to give them any she had with her, she said that was not the point.

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Paige launched the 'Girl Pack' project with her mum, Ellie, which provides sanitary products, underwear and hand sanitiser.

The packs were launched in six schools and food banks, after Ellie's craft group helped to raise the funds.

Unstoppable Paige then met with Milton Keynes' mayor, David Hopkins, who secured the backing of the council.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The council is now aiming to provide free products to girls from low-income families.

After the council announced the plans, Paige said: "We are so happy right now. We look forward to our first meeting with the council to work out a solution. It's 2018, time for change."

The decision by Milton Keynes council comes just weeks after the Scottish government announced it would be providing free sanitary products at schools, colleges and universities.

The move was made in light of discussions about period poverty, and a survey of 2000 young Scottish people found that around one in four had struggled to get their hands on sanitary supplies.

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Talking to the BBC, communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: "In a country as rich as Scotland, it's unacceptable that anyone should struggle to buy basic sanitary products. I welcome the support of local authorities, colleges and universities in implementing this initiative."

To counteract this, the Scottish government is investing £5.2m in the project to help all schools and universities across the country comply, making it the first country in the world to do so. This means students will be able focus on their studies rather than stains.

Hopefully the decisions made by Scotland and Milton Keynes council will mean that other authorities will adopt the same stance on period poverty and can help stop girls missing school because of their period.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: Life News, Real, Health

Mark Cunliffe
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