Red Box Project set up in Northampton to help end period poverty

Knickers for girls aged 10 and above are being collected for the red boxes.
Knickers for girls aged 10 and above are being collected for the red boxes.

Donation points across the town are being set up to avoid young girls missing school if they cannot afford sanitary products.

In January, Emma Smith, 28, from Pineham, took on the volunteer coordinator role for the Red Box Project in Northampton to try and end period poverty in this town.

Sanitary towels, black tights and knickers will be included in the boxes for schools. Tampons are allowed for older children who attend colleges.

Sanitary towels, black tights and knickers will be included in the boxes for schools. Tampons are allowed for older children who attend colleges.

The aim of the project is to make sure that no young woman in this town goes without access to menstrual protection, and so far there are seven donation points across Northampton.

The project relies on donations from its community to provide red boxes filled with period products, including sanitary towels, spare underwear for children aged 10 and over and black tights.

Tampons will be included in the red boxes for older college students.

Emma said: "I decided I wanted to set up something worthwhile and important.

The project is to keep young women in school instead of missing their education, if they can't afford sanitary items.

The project is to keep young women in school instead of missing their education, if they can't afford sanitary items.

"There wasn't a coordinator in Northampton but there was one in Kettering, Daventry and Brackley.

"Because Northampton is so big I thought it was crazy that there was nothing like this."

So far Northampton College Booth Lane Campus and Abbeyfield School have both received a red box.

One financial reason for young women missing their education comes down to not being able to afford sanitary products and other social reasons might include girls not wanting to ask their male carers to purchase them on their behalf.

Emma said: "We quietly aim to ensure that no young woman has to miss school or suffer embarrassment just because she has her period.

"The key feature of the project gives young women in need - whether for financial or social reasons - the reassurance of enough sanitary items for their entire period.

"This is what makes it special. Also, it has been designed to be sustainable, providing a reliable supply month after month after month."

Kingsthorpe, Far Cotton, St James and Northampton Central Libraries, as well as The Creative Cupcake Company in Gold Street Mews, have become donation points.

To make a monetary donation to the project, click here or if you want to set up a donation point then email Emma at: redbox.northampton@gmail.com.