Women’s charity donates emergency menstrual products to Sheffield City Council

A women’s charity based in Sheffield has donated one hundred packs of menstrual pads to Sheffield City Council as part of a campaign to support women in need during lockdown.

The sanitary products were donated by Irise International who are based in Sheffield. They will be distributed directly to households through local food banks and council referrals.

According to data gathered by Irise, one in ten women can not afford menstrual products in the UK.

The donation was a result of Coronavirus Emergency Appeal, which aims to provide free access to essential products such as contraceptives and sanitary products during lockdown. They also offer support to victims of domestic abuse.

Since the fund launched on March it has raised over £900.

Calum Smith, Head of Operations at Irise, said the response has been fantastic and the donations in Sheffield were the first step to providing essential support to those in need.

“I think everyone wants to have a positive impact on the world, which is difficult when you’re stuck at home. To raise so much in a month is going to do a lot of good in Sheffield and the UK.”

He said the final goal is to create packages of essential items and education resources to support young people still understanding their bodies.

Period products were made freely available in all state schools in January,however the closure of schools services has made access to services less certain.

He said: “Many girls will be having their periods for the first time during lock down, and without support from schools it could have a massive impact on how they understand their own bodies in the future.

“Providing essential items is a great start, but we also have to increase awareness and access to health services. It’s vital we get this right.”

To donate to the Coronavius Emergency Appeal, visit https://www.irise.org.uk/coronavirus/