Exeter students have launched a campaign to support homeless women across the city – by collecting much-needed sanitary products in the Forum.
Inspired by last year’s successful nationwide campaign against the UK “tampon tax”, ‘Provide a Pad’ was established back in April by Sherv Cheung, Postgraduate Taught Officer and launched on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the start of June.
Image: Provide A Pad
The initiative aims to break the stigma surrounding menstruation while providing much-needed practical support.
As well as collecting sanitary products to donate to homeless shelters around Exeter, Monday 6 June marked the beginning of the team’s crowdfunding campaign – which it’s hoped will increase the support Provide A Pad can offer homeless individuals having to cope with menstruation.
“Periods are an incredibly stressful time for many homeless people,” said Charlie Morrison, one of the students involved in the campaign.
“Most food banks and homeless shelters are very under-stocked with sanitary products, either because of the stigma surrounding periods or because it simply doesn’t occur to donors,” she told Exeposé.
“We are hoping to help alleviate the struggle of homeless people dealing with menstruation, as well as break down the stigma.”
Collections began on Friday, during the first of Exeter’s June open days – and saw numerous current and prospective students make donations.
The campaign continued the following day, and is set to run throughout the week on Exeter’s Streatham campus.
— ProvideAPad (@ProvideAPad) June 4, 2016
In 2013, 26 per cent of those accessing homelessness services in the UK were woman – yet, Provide A Pad emphasises, this figure does not include transgender or non-binary individuals who may also be in need of sanitary products.
“Periods also present a real danger to trans men and non-binary individuals as it could potentially out them,” Morrison explained, adding: “for individuals dealing with body dysphoria, periods can be especially stressful.”
Provide A Pad will be collecting donations of sanitary products all this week (6-10 June) – find them either at their stand in the Forum or by the Sabb office.