A CAMPAIGNER is aiming to tackle period poverty affecting girls and women in Warwickshire.
Lucy Grainger, from Leamington, has teamed up with charity ‘Freedom4Girls’ to fund-raise and donate sanitary products to schools across the region.
The 21-year-old struggled with heavy periods in her teens, eventually leading to a diagnosis of endometriosis, seven years after her ‘traumatic’ experience began.
The often painful condition causes tissue which normally lines the inside of the uterus to grow outside of it. It affects one in ten women.
She said: “I was 13 when my first period started. I remember being quite embarrassed at the fact I was such a ‘late starter’ compared with all the other girls in school, so I was relieved when I actually had my first ever period. Little did I know, this was the start to a very long and traumatic journey.
“I started off with the most painful and heaviest periods, which only got worse and worse over the years. I was having to ask friends at school to borrow sanitary towels because I was going through so many. I was so heavy and the periods were so painful that I ended up missing days off school each month. This did not just impact my education and learning, but it also impacted on my mental health.”
Lucy, who now works in marketing, was one of six children brought up by a single mum, and money for sanitary products proved hard to find.
She added: “I must have spent at least £30 a week on sanitary products and I was even going to hygiene banks because I simply couldn’t afford one of the most basic necessities. I was a university student who could barely afford to eat one meal a day. How could I ever afford the sanitary products I needed? I felt I had been stripped away of all humanity. I felt ashamed.
“Tampons and pads are necessities, not luxuries, so just as toilet paper is provided in schools for free, so should sanitary items.”
Lucy is encouraging people to donate in a number of ways to help supply girls with free sanitary products.
Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tackleperiodpoverty and www.freedom4girls.co.uk for more information.