Real gen­eros­ity

Women give sup­port to the food­bank

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

A Ruther­glen po­lit­i­cal group are hop­ing to make things eas­ier for women in poverty by do­nat­ing tam­pons and pads to lo­cal food­banks.

Women for In­de­pen­dence Ruther­glen have started a crowd­fund­ing ap­peal so they can buy fe­male san­i­tary prod­ucts to do­nate.

They have so far raised £300 of their £500 tar­get.

The page was the brain­child of Ja­nine Ca­likes, a mem­ber of the group and vol­un­teer at the lo­cal food­bank.

She got the idea from sim­i­lar cam­paigns on the east coast which raised funds for pads and tam­pons in ev­ery food­bank in Ed­in­burgh.

WFI also want the UK Gov­ern­ment to stop adding VAT to san­i­tary items and recog­nise them as ‘es­sen­tial items’ in the same way as food, sav­ing most women around £1 per pe­riod.

Katy Louden, a 35-year-old PhD stu­dent and re­searcher from West­burn in Cam­bus­lang, is the groups spokesper­son, and she said peo­ple were re­spond­ing to their mes­sage.

She added: “Ja­nine, in her ex­pe­ri­ence volunteering, had come across this is­sue a few times.

“Women liv­ing in poverty may have to choose be­tween pads or tam­pons and food or elec­tric­ity.

“We be­lieve that when women are go­ing to food­banks to feed them­selves and their fam­i­lies, the least we can do is make sure that they re­ceive these es­sen­tial sup­plies for them­selves.

“Poverty and a lack of ac­cess to san­i­tary pro­tec­tion keeps women and girls around the world away from ed­u­ca­tion and eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence. We are wor­ried that there might be girls in Scot­land not at­tend­ing school be­cause their par­ents haven’t been able to af­ford san­i­tary tow­els for them.

“For far too long, this nat­u­ral part of women and girls’ lives has not been talked about or has been seen as a source of em­bar­rass­ment.”

The group’s crowd­fund­ing page can be found at www.in­diegogo.com/ projects/san­i­tary-prod­ucts-for-ru-glenc-lang-food­banks/story and the group can be con­tacted at wfiruther­glen@ gmail.com.

Do­na­tions Carolyn Ritchie, Ja­nine Ca­likes and Katy Loudon

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