‘The Homeless Period’ calls for Durham’s support

‘You wouldn’t think twice about donating nappies for babies’

In recognition of International Women’s Day, departments, societies and colleges across Durham are calling out for students to help vulnerable women by donating sanitary products for the homeless. 

We all struggle with cramps, the necessity to have a loo nearby and the shockingly high price of a pack of Tampax Pearl.

There are donation boxes in your colleges

However, imagine facing this without a bathroom, a change of clothes and without being able to afford vital sanitary products. Consider the humiliating and demeaning task of going to a public toilet, ripping up loo roll, and using it as a replacement towel. Imagine knowing, every month, that you are at high risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome and other life threatening infections.

The brutal reality is that sanitary products are not available to those who cannot afford them and those without a home. This is why our university is calling both girls AND boys to drop off sanitary products. There are many boxes across colleges and departmental buildings.

Giving: Strings Attached will play a major role in this week’s events. Just Love: Durham are hoping to beat last year’s donations of 5017 individual sanitary items, as well as asking for donations of shampoo, conditioner and deodorant.

The scheme, which works alongside various local charities, is inspired by The Homeless Period. In a similar way to condoms, tampons and towels, they believe that sanitary products should be provided for free by the government at homeless shelters.

Dr Cathy McClive, who is organising the History Department’s collections, told The Tab: “Sanitary protection (disposable or reusable) is an expensive necessity, not a luxury. Personally, I cannot imagine how humiliating it must be not to have access to adequate period protection.

“The Homeless Period draws attention to a very real, practical problem faced by lots of women and young adults.

“I really hope that the student reaction will be positive, and that men and women will donate. We need to get rid of the embarrassment around bodies and bleeding – we wouldn’t think twice about donating nappies for babies.

“There are collection boxes at various points across the city and University. It would be great if we could fill them all.”

If you are unable to get to a donation box this week, tell a Just Love organiser and they will personally collect the items from your house, or you can do a simple online bank transfer.