Period Dignity Donation Scheme Launches in South Tyneside
It is hoped the boxes will become self-sustaining with people encouraged to leave donations of pads and tampons for others. Local businesses which have signed the South Tyneside Pledge will also be encouraged to contribute to the project.
The move is further evidence that the Council is delivering on its ambition to keep people healthy and well throughout their lives.
If successful, it is hoped the scheme will be expanded to other Council-owned buildings.
Councillor Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for Adults, Health and independence, said: "We know that period poverty has increased significantly since the pandemic and the cost of living crisis has only served to make things ever more difficult for so many people.
"While there are some small-scale initiatives in the Borough, we felt it was important to lead by example. We are looking to partner with some of the voluntary organisations so that we can pool our resources for maximum impact."
Women's Health in South Tyneside (WHIST) also provides free sanitary products to women struggling to afford these essential items.
Corinne Devine, Chief Executive Officer at WHIST said: "Over the last year we have seen more women coming in to access free sanitary products and in the last few months we have seen a sharp increase. It is desperate at the moment.
"I welcome this Council initiative because there is clearly a need for this in South Tyneside."
Dominique Hendry, Project Manager at Bright Futures - a charity which delivers a range of innovative projects to young women to educate and empower them - said: "The cost of living crisis not only burdens girls and women but also exacerbates the challenges they face in accessing and affording essential period products. Girls and women from low-income households are disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis with many of the young women we support at Bright Futures, falling into this category.
"This inequality perpetuates a cycle of disadvantage, hindering their ability to fully participate in society and achieve their potential."