Schools across the East to offer free sanitary products to beat period poverty

Free period products are now available at all schools and colleges across the East.

It's part of a government scheme to tackle period poverty in the UK.

Schools will be able to order a range of sanitary products, including eco-friendly options.

46%

Of teenage girls believe period poverty holds them back from attending school or education

One in 10 women aged 14-21 were unable to afford them while 12% had to improvise their protection, according to 2017 figures from the Plan International charity.

Education ministers say the scheme means pupils won’t have to miss out on lessons due to their period and will help break down stigma.

Campaigners had raised concerns that female pupils from lower-income families could be forced to miss class if they can’t afford sanitary products.

Activists have been campaigning about period poverty for a long time Credit: PA

The move to supply free period products to schools in England follows similar schemes elsewhere in the region.

Women are able to collect free sanitary products at all 47 of Norfolk's libraries.

The County Council agreed to make the products readily available after partnering with the Tricky Period project.

Amika George, 18, the founder of campaign group Free Periods Credit: PA

Cambridge University student Amika George started the Free Periods campaign from her bedroom when she was 17.

Two years later her fight to end period poverty in the UK has taken a huge step forward.

She has since received global recognition for her campaigning work and was recently listed by TIME magazine as one of the 25 most influential teenagers in the world.

Amika George, founder of the #FreePeriods campaign group, said: “As a grassroots, student-led movement, Free Periods has been fighting for every single child in this country to be able to go to school without worrying about their next pad or tampon. For the first time in history, this scheme will ensure that becomes a reality.”

She added: “We ask that schools have open conversations with students about what they need and start signing up to the scheme – no child must miss out. Free products in schools will ensure that every child can learn and be their very best, without periods holding them back.”

30%

Of people believe period poverty holds girls back from achieving their aspirations