23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 22-04-2015 07:56

      University of Manchester Students' Union backs campaign to get free tampons for homeless women

      A university is backing a nationwide campaign to get free tampons for homeless women this week.

      The Homeless Period campaign is calling for the government to give homeless shelters an allowance to buy sanitary care, the same way they do for condoms.

      Joanna Harris, who works as part of Student Action at the SU, brought the campaign to the attention of the university.

      She said: “I read about it in the news and got in touch with the head of Student Action to see if a collection would be viable.

      “It’s something which a lot of people haven’t thought about before.

      “It’s horrible to have to deal with anyway and to not have access to anything must be horrific.

      “People have been so generous and it has made me so happy.

      “We’ve got bin bags full of stuff in the SU and I checked again today and the collection bucket is full again.”

      The donations will be shared between The Pankhurst Centre and a women’s shelter the SU works with.

      Miss Harris added: “I would love to get more involved with the campaign.

      “I was looking at moon cups, which are reusable and can last for years, which might be a more viable option for homeless women.


      Please keep your donations coming for #TheHomelessPeriod today. stall in the SU foyer until 5pm. Yesterday was a fantastic first day of collections!

      Posted by Student-Action Manchester on Tuesday, 21 April 2015

      The campaign was set up by Oliver Frost, Josie Shedden and Sara Bakhaty who met whilst interning at an advertising agency.

      About 26 percent of people who access homelessness services are women and although the government provide condoms the same cannot be said for sanitary products.

      Sanitary products are classed as a “luxury, non-essential item” and are taxed at five percent.

      If they were instead considered healthcare, sanitary ware would be available on a free prescription.

      A lot of homeless shelters do have supplies of sanitary items, but many women do not know these are available, and the supply is not consistent.

      Students at Sheffield also did a similar collection, making their donations to the Cathedral Archer project.

      Whilst petitioning the government, the campaign is also encouraging people to donate sanitary items to their nearest homeless shelter.

      If you want to support the campaign you can sign the petition on the website which already has over 90,000 signatures.