Period Charity Project

Last year at school Miss B learned about periods and as a naturally curious 9 year old she asked me lots of questions. I believe in being open and honest with kids so I answered everything that she asked and tried not to be too graphic. We have looked at towels, tampons, liners and she knows where they are kept incase she needs them. We also talked about personal hygiene and how important it is especially as her body is growing and developing.

I was alerted to a Glasgow based charity who are working with and supporting homeless woman and doing amazing work. One of the projects they are running is a Period Friendly Program, helping woman in a homeless situation to regain their dignity and provide them with sanitary products, help, support and information. I was sent some information on what they are doing which I have put below, PLEASE take the time to read it, I would love if the woman being helped felt comfortable enough to talk to someone, anyone, the way Miss B feels able to talk to me. They need help, support and care, not judgement.

The crux of it is that you can help in one of two ways, the first is by donating some money to help the Simon Community provide much needed products. A 5 day period pack costs £15 and includes; 5 towels, 12 tampons, 3 pairs of pants, travel wipes, disposal bags, information and advice. If you want to provide that level of support to a woman in need and donate £15 today then please text PFPR28 to 70070 with the amount you want to donate – £5 or £10. I’ve donated and will forego my McFlurrys for a month and you all know how much I love those!

The other way you can help is with time. I know most people have very little free time, but I’m hoping that now Miss C has started nursery I will be able to spare a few hours a month to help out.

If you have a couple of hours to spare a month or a week they need their P.F.Pals to do the following:

  • Visit the period friendly points and restock their supplies
  • Collect and sort donations into Pax and refresher packs at our warehouse in Glasgow
  • Help raise funds and products to maintain the period friendly points and pax.
  • Support, promote and raise awareness of the issues homeless women experience.
  • Be a listening ear and a support to the women we reach out to.

Go check them out here

About the Project

Every year the Simon Community supports over 500 women experiencing homelessness. Their journey to being out on the street more often than not, begins before they are even 10 years old. Their experience of trauma often leads to substance misuse, high risk behaviours, mental health and physical health problems. The trauma they experienced as a child can be replayed through domestic violence, sexual violence and exploitation. It’s no wonder the life expectancy of a women on the street is 43. The Simon Community reach out to women through their street team in Glasgow, they provide gender specific services that support women to recover their lives and emergency accommodation to help them be safe and off the street. Launching a Period Friendly program against this background might seem like a drop in the ocean but it’s always been about more than free sanitary products. It’s about dignity, about people and services that listen, understand and care enough to do something a little extra. No woman should ever have to make her own tampons, wear the same pants for a week or change behind a bin. The Simon Community believe that the smallest bit of generosity can go a long, long way.

In order to give these women the support they need, Simon Community Scotland are launching a new project on the 23rd August 2017 in Glasgow called Period Friendly Point (PFP) which supports homeless women to have a period of dignity.

It works like this – the Period Friendly Points (PFPs) are locations that are catered specifically for the homeless. However, it is hoped over time that more organisations e.g. coffee shops, will want to become a PFP themselves. The PFPs will have a bespoke display containing free and easily accessible sanitary products, wipes, pants and disposable bags, along with information leaflets to assist the women with using the products. Pregnancy tests and infection tests will be on hand to give the women peace of mind – often homeless women don’t live a healthy lifestyle so their period may stop or become irregular. As well as this, it’s been researched that around one in four female rough sleepers have been sexually assaulted which can also lead to pregnancy queries.

In the PFPs the women will have the opportunity to chat to any member of staff about any issues or queries they may have or if they simply fancy a chat. Simon Community have found that homeless women in particular often didn’t have anyone to talk to about periods and feminine care when they were younger due to institutional care and traumatic childhood. Therefore the women tend to be very closed and embarrassed about the topic so they want PFP to be that level of care and support that they have missed out on, Simon Community believe no woman should have to go through their period without having someone to talk to. These PFPs can be identified by stickers of the 28-day calendar logo being placed on windows, doors, walls of a fully functioning PFP!

In addition, Simon Community’s Street Team will be handing out Period Friendly Pax – these are discreet and compact bags, specifically designed for women sleeping rough, containing: tampons, towels, pants, wipes and disposable bags. These bags can be refilled by our Street Team or at their nearest PFP. There will be a small card in these bags explaining to the women what the project is about and where the PFPs are located.

Simon Community believe this project can change the lives of many women. Women experiencing homelessness already have to deal with lack of sleep, no access to cleaning facilities, an unsafe environment and lack of food & drink. You’d think this couldn’t get much more challenging, but then her period comes.

Simon Community Scotland facts from recent study:

  • 78% didn’t know how long a tampon should be kept in for
  • 61% have had to go without sanitary products multiple times – instead used newspaper, toilet roll and old rags
  • 70% of women have never spoken to anyone before about their period and don’t even know what a period is.

These figures show exactly the need for a project like Period Friendly Point.

**Period Friendly Point isn’t just about providing free sanitary products, it’s about providing people that are willing to listen, care and understand. **

Period Facts!

  • On average a normal cycle lasts 28 days and a period lasts on average 5 days.
  • You should not keep a tampon in place for more than 8 hours
  • If your passing large clots, bleeding between cycles, soaking your tampon/pad two hourly or seeing dramatic changes in your period you should see your GP.
  • The Average women will spend 3500 days menstruating during her lifetime.
  • Periods are often heavier, longer and more painful during the winter.
  • Tampon is french for plug and around 70% of women prefer tampons to pads.
  • The average period releases 35ml to 50ml of blood. More than 80mls is regarded as a heavy period.
  • When a woman’s fat percentage drops to under 10% her periods will stop as it’s the fat cells in the body that supply the estrogen needed to trigger menstruation.
  • Common and less common names for your period include: Aunty Flo, On the Crimson Time, Monthlys, Shark Week, The English are coming, on the rag,

How you can help

Simon Community will continue to support women in need and help them have a ‘period of dignity’ and for that we need your help.

A 5 day period costs us and our suppliers £15 and includes; 5 towels, 12 tampons, 3 pairs of pants, travel wipes, disposal bags, information and advice.

If you want to be that level of support to a woman in need and donate £15 today then please text PFPR28 to 70070 with the amount you want to donate – £5 or £10.

Period Friendly Pals

If you have a couple of hours to spare a month or a week we’d welcome your help. What we need our P.F.Pals to do is:

  • Visit the period friendly points and restock their supplies
  • Collect and sort donations into Pax and refresher packs at our warehouse in Glasgow
  • Help raise funds and products to maintain the period friendly points and pax.
  • Support, promote and raise awareness of the issues homeless women experience.
  • Be a listening ear and a support to the women we reach out to.

Thank you very much for making it this far and I really hope we can work together to help this fantastic cause.

Cx

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2 thoughts on “Period Charity Project”

  1. What a lovely idea, and I am sure many people will be grateful for the service. Have to say £15 seems a lot for what seems not a lot. Have to say I do not think there would be enough in a pack to have kept me going more than half a day with that amount, does not seem much for 5 days.

    Like

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