Curate aims to tackle period poverty
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
AN initiative to help tackle period poverty in Teesdale has been launched by a dale curate who hopes it will preserve young women’s “dignity”.
Curate at St Mary’s Parish Church in Whorlton, Revd Sarah Cliffe said she was stunned to learn that more than 137,000 young women across the UK skip school on a regular basis as they have no access to sanitary products.
Revd Cliffe said: “I went to a seminar and we talked about period poverty.
“I couldn’t believe we are the fifth biggest economy in the world and this is still happening here and I think we could do something to help.”
Sanitary products in the UK are classed as a “luxury, non-essential item” and are taxed at five per cent.
Special packs have been installed within the toilet at St Mary’s, in Barnard Castle, to assist young women who cannot afford to buy sanitary products.
The packs, which contain tampons and pads, are free.
She added: “This won’t solve the issue, but at least it will provide young women with some support and preserve their dignity.
“Our church is open daily and ladies who are in need will be able to visit the church from 7.30am until teatime.
“They can either take the bag or put the contents into their own bag. We just want to know that support is here for them.”
A collection box for any donations for the packs is situated in the foyer of the church.