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Free sanitary products available at Arbury Court library to combat ‘period poverty’


By Paul Brackley


Free sanitary products are available to pick up at Arbury Court Library as part of a ‘period poverty’ initiative.

County councillors Claire Richards and Jocelynne Scutt, city and county council officers and a representative of Cambridge City Food Bank launched the new scheme to combat period poverty in Cambridge at Arbury Court library (14033432)
County councillors Claire Richards and Jocelynne Scutt, city and county council officers and a representative of Cambridge City Food Bank launched the new scheme to combat period poverty in Cambridge at Arbury Court library (14033432)

The library is a donation point where members of the public can donate sanitary items, and is a collection point where girls and women can pick them up from a ‘help yourself’ box in the public toilet.

The move is designed to help girls and women who do not have access to basic sanitary products due to financial constraints.

County councillors Claire Richards and Jocelynne Scutt worked with Cambridge City Council and Cambridge City Foodbank to launch the scheme in Arbury Court Library on Thursday (July 18).

The scheme will be expanded to other public libraries in the city.

Cllr Scutt, who represents Arbury, said: “This initiative is hugely welcome. We know this issue is having a serious impact on the education, work, health and general quality of life for thousands of women in the UK, and this is happening on our doorstep too. We believe women of all ages should be able to focus on their education, work and future and not have to be worried about their period.”

Cllr Claire Richards, the county council’s area community champion for Cambridge said: “It is an important initiative to combat this period poverty and to protect women’s health, dignity and respect. From today members of the public can donate sanitary products at Arbury Court Library which are made available and can be accessed privately in the public toilets – no question asked.

“The scheme will be rolled out in more libraries across the city so that more women, of all ages and background, can benefit from it.”

Cllr Anna Smith, the city council’s executive councillor for communities, said: “No woman should be faced with a situation in which they are unable to access basic sanitary products because of their financial position. I am pleased that the council is supporting this important scheme. I hope lots of people will be able to make a donation which will be greatly appreciated by those in need.”

Jon Edney, Cambridge City Foodbank co-ordinator said: “We receive donations of sanitary products regularly and we make these available to foodbank visitors. In addition, we are always looking for opportunities to ensure that they are available to others who find they are in need. This initiative will help that goal and is a further step to improve life for local women.

Similar schemes run by volunteers operate in Ramsey and Yaxley libraries.

Sanitary products are also available for free in Cambridge community centres, which are listed on https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/community-centres.

Read more

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