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Union to offer free sanitary products to students

Staff are being encouraged to donate sanitary products for students who cannot afford to buy them

The Newcastle College branch of the University and College Union will donate sanitary products in a bid to alleviate “period poverty”

Staff are being encouraged to donate sanitary products for students who cannot afford to buy them

Students at one college will discreetly be able to get free sanitary products thanks to donations from a branch of a trade union.

The Newcastle College branch of the University and College Union will donate sanitary products in a bid to alleviate “period poverty”.

A survey conducted last year by development charity Plan International found that one-in-10 young women aged 14- to 21-years-old had been unable to afford sanitary products. It also discovered that 12 per cent of those surveyed had to improvise sanitary wear and one in five had changed to a less suitable sanitary product due to cost.

'It's about dignity'

Newcastle College UCU branch secretary Anya Cook said having your period should not be a barrier to coming to college.

She added: “We want our women and girls to succeed and to be able to attend their classes in comfort and in dignity. This campaign will support students who may need help to access sanitary products and ensure that they have every chance of fulfilling their academic potential.”

The branch is encouraging staff to donate products to help support the campaign.

Newcastle College pastoral support manager Melanie Kay said many students face financial barriers to education, adding: “Providing sanitary protection will go a long way to enable women and girls facing real hardship to be able to attend college and be supported without stigma.”

In August, the Scottish government announced that students at schools, colleges and universities across the country would have access to free sanitary products to fight period poverty.

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