Meet the fifth year giving out sanitary products to homeless women in Birmingham

She calls her initiative the ‘Homeless Period’

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Fifth year Keely Thorne has set up her own charity providing sanitary items for homeless women in Birmingham – all while studying for her final year in Dentistry and being a mum.

Keely set up the ‘Homeless Period’ initiate after volunteering for The Albert St Project in Birmingham.

She noticed the huge need homeless women have for fresh sanitary items when faced with the dreaded time of the month, and decided she wanted to do something about it.

Keely told The Tab: “I realised that a lot of women were having to screw up cloths and tissues from public toilets to use instead, or having to try to make 3 tampons last the length of their whole period.

“So it wasn’t just the emotional impact it was having, some would end up with infections – it’s so dangerous.”

Keely set up the initiative recently

“It’s not a great time of the month for any of us,” Keely continued, “but just imagine how awful and humiliating it would be to not have any easy access to sanitary items? I wouldn’t be able to leave my house…”

Keely managed to raise over £2,000 through her JustGiving page which goes straight towards buying sanitary items and hygienic sanitary disposal bags to combat the threat of toxic shot syndrome (TTS).

These are made up into packs to give out to homeless women which also include fresh underwear and wipes.

Keely continued: “Sanitary products are expensive and therefore difficult to come by for the women on the street, and coupled with the fact that women feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help when it comes to gaining sanitary products (because of the fact that periods are such a taboo subject and uncomfortable to talk about) there is a great demand for these products which goes unheard.”

Keely distributing much-needed sanitary products

One donated pack of sanitary items could make life so much more tolerable for a homeless woman.

After the rightful uproar and rage about the government ruling that tampons were considered a ‘luxury item’ as well as the amazing appreciation of The Guild providing free tampons for students, set up by The Guild Representation and Resources Officer, Daisy Lindlar, this cause is more significant than ever.

Now it’s time to count our blessings and be passionate for those less fortunate, who these issues affect even more.

Keely has been overwhelmed with the support her campaign has received: “People began to contact me from further afield, asking how they could send items via post, and so I arranged a drop off point in my home town of Rugeley, and parcels have started arriving from as far away as Bristol and Salford!”

Keely also provided a few ways you can help her campaign out:

• Donate to the JustGiving page, allowing The Homeless Period to buy sanitary items and clean underwear to give out to homeless women.

• Post or drop packets of sanitary items/women’s care products to the Chase pub in Rugeley (include her name so Keely can thank you directly)
• B
ring donations to The Albert St Project on a Wednesday evening at 7pm (Albert street, Birmingham, opp Carrs lane church)
• L
ike The Homeless Period Facebook page, share posts and updates and pass it on to encourage your friends to help out too.