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Girls missing school because of poverty

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user1496170327 Wed 31-May-17 11:08:01

Hello Everyone!

Thanks to everyone who suggested posting in this thread!

I'm a teenage girl who's started a campaign to help girls who can't afford sanitary products.

Some of you may have read recently that girls across the UK skip school because they can't face the shame of going to school without adequate sanitary care.

Some use socks, toilet roll and sellotape, or even newspaper. Young girls are living in such extreme poverty, and I believe this must be discussed and addressed, especially when this can harm their health.

I was absolutely horrified that this is happening in Britain and felt that something had to be done. So, I'm calling on the government to provide free sanitary provision for girls in need, as a first step. I'm writing to MPs every day and the response, so far, has been really positive. I think that this is something that can happen with enough support!

I'm really hoping that you will agree that this is so very important- that all girls should be able to access essential care and go to school with confidence and that we should not be disadvantaged because of our gender. May I ask you to add your name to my petition to the government, and if you could share on social media, that would be amazing!


I'm writing an article for a newspaper about period poverty in schools, and if you've been in this dreadful situation yourself, I'd really appreciate it if you could get in touch, if you're happy to!

Thank you so much for your support!! I really appreciate it, and I believe that if enough people want to change this situation, we can make it happen. Thanks again!

AlexandraPetsberg Wed 31-May-17 11:21:34

I've signed this and shared this. It's pretty appalling to say the least that this is going on. The government really needs to act and quick. Girls can't be missing school because they are girls.

Cattiegardens89 Wed 31-May-17 11:26:30


HildaOg Wed 31-May-17 11:28:57

It's not poverty, it's parental neglect. Sanitary products are cheap especially if you buy own brands which are cheaper than a loaf of bread.

No parent in Britain is that poor, there are a lot who don't take care of their kids and provide them with the necessities. The kids still need someone to give them those necessities but pretending it's poverty doesn't help. What else are they being deprived of because their parents refuse to prioritise their needs?

differentnameforthis Wed 31-May-17 11:33:20

No parent in Britain is that poor Shows how ignorant you are. Yes, it can certainly be down to parental neglect, but also can be down to just not being able to afford it.

WendyBurton000 Wed 31-May-17 11:34:16

It might be neglect, but as a teacher, I see this all the time.

Most of these girls live in abject poverty. Some hardly have three meals so getting hold of sanpro means asking me, the teacher, or borrowing from friends.

I agree that the poorest girls need help from the government for free sanpro, because these girls are missing school - many of these horns are from dysfunctional families. It's easy for us to say they should be able to afford them but these horns need to be given the cash to buy them. Many of them aren't given money for lunch.

It's a sad reality but it really is poverty. And it really must be sorted.


Bearfrills Wed 31-May-17 11:36:52

Own brands are cheap but that's presuming you can get to Tesco or Asda, etc. If you dont have a car and don't have a big name supermarket within reasonable walking distance then you're stuck using local shops because bus fare to the bigger supermarket is money out of your food budget and delivery charges to get an online shop is again money out of your food budget. At my local shops the cheapest pack of sanitary towels is £2.99 and that's for a 10 pack of basic Always towels. If you have three people needing approx three packs of towels each per month (mother plus two daughters using three towels a day each for five days each) then that's nearly £27. Now that does t seem a lot to many people but if you're living hand to mouth where every penny is accounted for and you're one unexpected bill away from disaster then £27 is a fucking lot of money.

And yes, there are people in Britain who are that poor and it's a fucking disgrace that they are angry

Bearfrills Wed 31-May-17 11:38:47

To add to the above, you also need internet access to do an online food shop which again costs money.

It's called the poverty trap for a reason.

ghostyslovesheets Wed 31-May-17 11:39:01

exactly - I would challenge anyone to spend a week without a car or a online shopping and spend a tiny amount on food for the week in their local shop - it's crazy

People are POOR in the UK and it's not always their fault hmm

ghostyslovesheets Wed 31-May-17 11:39:33

you also need a debit or credit card ...

AndNowItIsSeven Wed 31-May-17 11:40:10

HildaOG and some parents can't afford bread . What do you think food banks are for? A free little top up shop!

mynotsoperfectlife Wed 31-May-17 11:40:46

It's a well meaning idea but how would it work in practice?

Packet of tampons with your spaghetti bolognese?

waitforitfdear Wed 31-May-17 11:41:32

I always take San pro to our local food bank. Also shampoo and deoderent. Not just food so that's important to know it's really needed.

Well done op signed

Woolly17 Wed 31-May-17 11:43:29

HildaOG - but what difference does it make? Whether it's poverty or parental neglect the girls are still the ones suffering. Your logic would have us punish children because their parents are poor or are poor parents. That's punishing the victim twice over ...

FreeNiki Wed 31-May-17 11:43:59

It's not poverty, it's parental neglect. Sanitary products are cheap especially if you buy own brands which are cheaper than a loaf of bread.


Unless there is absolutely no boots, Superdrug, tesco Sainsburys asda morrisons within a reachable distance for you ever at all, there is no reason why you cant get cheap basic towels. Boots and Superdrug all do own brand cheap towels too. If you.cant visit a town that often then buy them when you know you're going.

Boots currently has their own brand packs of 16 on offer for 75p.

ptumbi Wed 31-May-17 11:44:26


BelindaOong Wed 31-May-17 11:44:28

I'm really shocked - No parent in Britain is that poor?!! I've read about this recently and it IS poverty.
Do you think girls would make up stories about having to use socks?? Would any girls choose not to buy sanitary products?
I guess the majority of us have an extraordinary amount of sympathy towards these girls and want action taken.
I for one am glad that something is being done.

RB68 Wed 31-May-17 11:44:59

Most food banks will take products to handle periods and have them available as needed. I would work with schools to have either head of yrs or school nurse with supplies.

Having suffered bad period pains all of my youth I would worry about availability of paracetamol/brufen as well.

mynotsoperfectlife Wed 31-May-17 11:45:47

But how would you actually do it?

"Can the following girls stay behind after form?"
"If you are on FSMs, go to the office at the time of the month?"
Letters home?
Parcels home?

I just don't see it working. Nice sentiment. But while many families are struggling whether through poverty or chaos, many are just fine thank you very much, and would not thank the government particularly for sending a box of sanitary towels home!

Rafflesway Wed 31-May-17 11:46:01


Appalling situation in the 21st century!

BluePeppers Wed 31-May-17 11:47:03

Would it be possible to get them some washable pads? Higher initial cost but so so much cheaper in the long run.
Mooncup maybe too?

As they are all reusable, it would mean that they have something all the time.

I have to say I'm shock that this can happen in Britain. We've seen that sort of campaign for countries in Africa, places that one would assume are REALLY poor, unlike 'us'.
Having girls/women living in those conditions is unacceptable.

Bearfrills Wed 31-May-17 11:49:07

I don't live completely in the middle of nowhere but to get to my nearest Boots or Superdrug would cost me £6 in bus fare (more if I had any of the DC with me) plus whatever I would spend bulk buying these cheap sanitary towels - say 10 packs so £7.50? That's £13.50 which again is still a lot if you're someone who is counting out their budget to the very last penny.

BluePeppers Wed 31-May-17 11:49:39

my why something so complicated?
It could be as easy as sending a letter giving them an allowance for xxx and they could go and get it from a chemist for example.
Then you could chose if you wanted some or not. No issue with going to see the Head of Year or whatnot whilst at school (which would be the surest way to put these girls in a hard position)

mynotsoperfectlife Wed 31-May-17 11:50:14

So we are giving money/vouchers?

BelindaOong Wed 31-May-17 11:50:43

It can work. I work in education. I've spoken to girls who aren't given the cash to buy sanpro. It might only cost 75p, but some parents can't afford even that. Yes, it's hard to imagine! Yes, it seems an impossibly trivial amount of money! But YES, it's happening! I watch this going on in my school most months.

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