Published on 8th March 2019
Period poverty in Cheltenham is being tackled this March as local partners’ launch new campaign ‘Unstoppable’ as part of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) programme.
With funding from Gloucestershire County Council, local partners such as Vision 21, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and Cheltenham Borough Council have developed ‘Unstoppable’. The campaign’s goal is to make sure that no-one in Cheltenham goes without sanitary products as a result of their inability to pay for them. Unstoppable will also tackle the stigma associated with period poverty through an educational marketing campaign.
Looking at the national scene the NCLB programme notes a survey from Plan International UK that one in ten girls (10 per cent) have been unable to afford sanitary wear and one in seven girls (14 per cent) have had to ask to borrow sanitary wear from a friend due to affordability issues.
Locally, whilst NCLB and partners don’t have specific statistics about the extent of period poverty the programme knows that Cheltenham has 4,300 children (around 20% of all children) that are growing up in poverty and we have three areas that are in the top 10% most deprived areas in the country.
Unstoppable is a network of organisations that will distribute free sanitary products to those that need them in Cheltenham; so far we have groups such as schools, community organisations, churches and housing providers signed up to help. An up to date list of distribution points can be found at www.cheltenham.gov.uk/unstoppable or look out for organisation and buildings displaying the Unstoppable logo.
For anyone wishing to donate sanitary products, there are currently two donation points – the Reclaim office on the Lansdown Industrial Estate and the Municipal Offices on the Promenade.
Dave Entwistle from Vision 21 and project leader said: “We are really proud to be working with partners to ensure everyone in Cheltenham who needs them has access to period products whatever their situation. We thank our partners for all their assistance. As the project develops we hope to establish more distribution and donation points so any other organisation that wants to join Unstoppable would be very welcome and ask they get in touch.”
Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles said: “It is quite simple, really: this is happening and there may be social and cultural reasons why sanitary products might not be available as well as economic ones. If you can’t afford food it’s likely you can’t afford menstrual products. We are pleased to be launching ‘Unstoppable’ on international women’s day and are working with partners to provide these products which are available free of charge from locations listed on www.cheltenham.gov.uk/unstoppable”
Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member for public health and communities at Gloucestershire County Council said: “We are very happy to see the Period Poverty Fund grant awarded by the county council being used to set up Unstoppable. This is a great initiative, which demonstrates the value of groups from across the community working together, to make sure that sanitary products are easily available free of charge to those most in need.”
For media enquiries contact Jemima Lawson communications officer 01242 264332 or email [email protected]
Notes to editor:
- Cheltenham Borough Council and its partners have committed to a year of action, called No Child Left Behind. The programme has #ConfidentGirls as the theme for March and is working with partners to make a transformational change, address inequalities and child poverty.
- Unstoppable, with money from Gloucestershire County Council, are making free sanitary products, including tampons, pads, towels, and menstrual cups, available across Cheltenham.
- Unstoppable wants to break the taboo and stigma that can make accessing sanitary products so difficult for some people.
- International women’s day is 8 March #BalanceforBetter