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University students join campaign to tackle period poverty

A campaign tackling period poverty has been launched at Wrexham Glyndŵr University after students called for action.

Period poverty occurs when women and girls are unable to afford sanitary products, affecting an individual’s wellbeing, hygiene and health. In many cases those affected by period poverty have been forced to use alternatives such as toilet roll.

A number of charities, foodbanks and other groups are working to tackle the problem by providing supplies. Those groups have been joined in Wrexham by Wrexham Glyndŵr University staff and students after the University’s Student Union took up the issue this year.

Students on the BA (Hons) Business degree course contacted Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Student’s Union about the issue, after first working on the topic as part of their studies.

They gave a presentation to Student’s Union Vice President Angus Hamill-Stewart, who then invited the students to talk to the Student Council – who gave their backing to the plans. Collection points are now available in the Students’ Union Lounge and in the university library and staff and students have been donating sanitary products to help the campaign.

Products are then made available in male, female and disabled toilets in the student union building and the library so that anyone who needs them can help themselves. The boxes are also used to distribute other welfare products such as condoms and pregnancy tests.

The campaign is one of a series that Wrexham Glyndŵr Students Union – which was crowned the best in Wales at the National Union of Students (NUS) Wales Awards 2018 – are currently working on.

Welfare Campaigns Officer Emily Karim added: “Being on your period is awkward, uncomfortable and inconvenient, not to mention embarrassing, at the best of times. But to endure all of that as well as the stress of not being able to purchase sanitary products is just not acceptable.

“Having a period is not a choice, it’s a bodily function. People should never be in a position where they don’t have control over their personal hygiene because they can’t afford new, or reusable products.

“This campaign is not just about kind donations of products being made readily available for those in need, but to raise awareness that this scenario is more common than people realise.”

She added: “Some people are even resorting to using toilet tissue from public toilets because they can’t afford a sanitary towel.

“This is not only unpleasant and unhygienic, it can also be dangerous to their health. Hopefully by raising awareness of this issue, more can be done to change this situation for the better and improve the lives of thousands.”

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