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A community project which provides free sanitary products for use in schools has launched in Richmond upon Thames.

One in ten girls in the United Kingdom have been unable to afford sanitary products at some point in their lives impacting on school attendance and other activities. The Richmond Children’s and Young People Needs Assessment estimates that between 3,000-4,000 children are living in poverty in the borough.

The ‘Red Box Project’ collects donations of sanitary products and underwear from the local community and puts them in red boxes to give to local schools and youth centres.

Schools then keep the boxes with a trusted adult and when students need items they can go to the trusted adult and ask for the Red Box. They have access to whatever they need for their entire period. Boxes are replenished by the co-ordinator as required.

Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of Richmond Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee said:

“We know around 8.5 per cent of our school children come from low income families and may, at some point in their school lives, experience period poverty.

“The Red Box Project is a great service which allows students to access sanitary products easily and discreetly at school or youth club with no questions asked. I am sure that this will be a welcome initiative within our borough’s schools.”

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– from a Richmond Council press release - 25 June 2019