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Tackling Period Poverty

Objectives

During Welcome Week you brought period poverty to our attention. Now, we want to empower you to make change.

#OpenTheConversationAboutMenstruation

What is period poverty and why is it important?

Period poverty is when you are unable to access or afford period products because of financial constraints. Sometimes this can also mean individuals have a poor knowledge of menstruation, making the topic one of shame and embarrassment. No one should be held back because of a natural bodily process. We feel that students should be able to manage their menstruation in a safe and comfortable way, without shame or stigma.

Progress

What's currently available?

  • Come to The Hubs and ask for one of our period packs!
  • The 'Caught Short on Campus' scheme, provided by the University in partnership with the Students' Union, allows students to approach the help points across City and Collegiate campus and ask for free period products.
  • Those with financial difficulties can access the Hallam Hardship Fund, or request an Emergency Voucher.

Latest Updates

Trialling Free Products in Toilets:

At the Students' Union we believe menstruating should not be a barrier to education, and that products should be accessible for our students. Our previous wellbeing, sport and physical activity officer pledged to provide free period products across campus, and this resulted in the launch of the Caught Short on Campus Scheme in September 2021. This scheme currently requires students and staff to approach specific help desk points to ask for period products, which are provided free of charge. Our research sought to formalise student views on the issue of period poverty and accessibility of products, whilst campaigning to bring awareness to period poverty as a student wellbeing concern. The survey was completed by 202 students and highlighted numerous accessibility barriers of the Caught Short scheme. We have since begun discussions with the university Estates and Facilities Team about the feasibility of having free period products in toilets across campus. The Students' Union has planned and is funding a small pilot of free products in select toilets for October 2023. The information gathered from the pilot will then be presented to the university, with the aim of acquiring funding annually for free products in toilets on campus.

Period Poverty

In an effort to address and eradicate period poverty for students, we are currently working with the Student Funding Team, to find a solution that will support those struggling to finance their periods. We are planning a subscription scheme for students, to ensure that they have the products required to cover their cycle.

How to get involved

Any students and staff interested in supporting us to implement the free product trial, please get in touch and email us at studentrights@shu.ac.uk.

We also want to decrease the stigma around menstruation. Tell us your funniest or most awkward period-related stories here!

Organiser and contact details

Email - studentrights@shu.ac.uk

Related information

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