Students’ Union collaborates with Uni to help end period poverty

Free period products are being made available across Staffordshire University campuses in Stoke, Stafford and London

Hannah Blackburn  photographed with period products

Students' Union President Hannah Blackburn

This aims to tackle the issues of students struggling on a day-to-day basis to afford their period products, and also the stigma surrounding periods.

Students’ Union President, Hannah Blackburn

Thanks to collaborative work between Staffordshire University Students’ Union and Staffordshire University, dispensers containing tampons and sanitary towels have now been installed in all buildings.

The dispensers will be regularly stocked with organic and sustainable applicator tampons and bamboo sanitary pads for use by students and staff.

Period poverty, which is believed to affect 1 in 10 females across the UK, is something that the Students' Union has campaigned on since 2018.

Staffordshire University Students’ Union President Hannah Blackburn said: “This aims to tackle the issues of students struggling on a day-to-day basis to afford their period products, and also the stigma surrounding periods.

“We've seen a huge increase in student hardship in the past 12 months alone, with more and more students needing financial support and having to make awful choices between heating and eating.”

The Period Poverty Project involved both the Students’ Union and the University looking into how the provision of free sanitary products could be expanded, the budget needed and what sustainable companies could be used to provide the products.

Helen Rutherford, Head of Sustainable Campus Facilities Management said: “In recent years more organisations and venues have taken to providing free period products. Period poverty combined with rising costs of living have prompted us to work with our Students’ Union on the Period Poverty Project and to better support our community of staff and students.

“These products are available to anyone who needs them. In keeping with the University’s sustainability strategy, the products are eco-friendly and organic, vegan and cruelty free.”

Hannah added: “Honestly, I can't express how happy I am seeing our hard work come to fruition, and I'm proud of the difference this is going to make to the students at my university.”

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