Coventry teacher campaigns for free sanitary protection for vulnerable girls - The Coventry Observer

13th Aug, 2022

Coventry teacher campaigns for free sanitary protection for vulnerable girls

Felix Nobes 19th Mar, 2018

A DEDICATED Coventry teacher wants vulnerable girls to be entitled to free sanitary protection as she aims to continue raising awareness of period poverty.

Lily Woods, teacher at Grace Academy Coventry, has collected £300 worth of sanitary protection since January.

She launched a Period Poverty scheme to help students who may not be able to afford to buy their own.

Working with her local GP’s surgery to collect donations, Lily is offering free sanitary protection to more vulnerable girls who may otherwise miss school during their periods.

Ms Woods said: “Over 2,000 girls in this country are entitled to free school meals and I believe they should also be entitled to free sanitary protection.

“According to a recent survey, one in ten girls in the UK can’t afford sanitary products, and one in fifteen have struggled to afford sanitary wear, so it is vital that we help them to stay in education and have the same opportunities as everyone else.

“As an Academy, we have been getting the message out there to girls that we are here to help.

“Some people may find it awkward to talk about this, but we have started a dialogue about periods so it’s something our students are not afraid to talk about.

“There are real girls in this country who miss school on a regular basis because they cannot afford sanitary protection, and we need to help them. Being able to be in school empowers women.

“Periods shouldn’t be a barrier that stops women from having the opportunity to be successful and powerful.”

Caroline Wrigley, GP at The Grange Medical Centre who is helping Lily collect donations, said:

“The Period Poverty Project came about when Lily and I were chatting a few months ago about her job and what she loved about teaching. However, she then went on to mention her desire to do something to address the Period Poverty issue.

“I was aware of this phenomenon in Third World Countries but had not heard of it occurring in our country.

“As a mother and a doctor I found it horrifying that teenage girls have to risk their education due to family hardship.

“I joined forces with my Reception Manager and we came up with the idea of a donation box we could set up in the surgery.

“Fantastically we have since made several contributions to Lily, we have included the subject in our “Topic of the Month” corner, added information to our website and discussed the wider issue with our Patient Participation Group.

“The more we can get this message spread the more we can reduce the social and gender inequality which is tainting our education system.”

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