Shoppers at Rosehill Co-op in Ipswich donate sanitary products for disadvantaged women and girls

(L-R) Mandy Gaylard, Jane Basham and Shelly Darwin ask shoppers at Rosehill Co-op for donations of s

(L-R) Mandy Gaylard, Jane Basham and Shelly Darwin ask shoppers at Rosehill Co-op for donations of sanitary products for women and girls in need. Picture: Jane Basham - Credit: Jane Basham

Campaigners took action on International Women’s Day to “end period poverty” for struggling women and girls in Ipswich.

A poster created for the International Women's Day 'period poverty' event in Ipswich. Picture: Jane

A poster created for the International Women's Day 'period poverty' event in Ipswich. Picture: Jane Basham - Credit: Jane Basham

Shoppers at Rosehill Co-op were asked to buy a sanitary product to be donated to charity FIND (Families in Need), which helps deprived people in the town.

Organisers were overwhelmed with the response from men and women as five large bags were filled in just two hours.

The event was spearheaded by Ipswich Labour party women’s officer, Shelly Darwin, and was supported by Suffolk Unite Community, Suffolk Feminist Society and Suffolk Rape Crisis.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, on March 8, was Be Bold For Change.


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Ms Darwin said: “I am pleased that the action was so well supported and I am thankful for the kindness and generosity of the shoppers and staff at the Co-op for making it such a success.

“It was bold to ask people to buy items that are seldom discussed but it was a practical way that we can make a real difference to the lives of local disadvantaged women and girls.”

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Jane Basham, director at Suffolk Rape Crisis, said she wanted to firstly see the VAT removed on these products, but longer term for them to be free.

She added: “One woman told me that many years ago she had fled a violent relationship taking her six children with her and that she had experienced first-hand being unable to afford sanitary products. She described the shame and embarrassment she had felt.

“We know women and girls are using cardboard and socks because they cannot afford to buy tampons and sanitary towels.”

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