Experiencing homelessness complicates people’s ability to meet all sorts of basic needs. For example, having a menstrual cycle while homeless can be stressful and unpleasant. Thanks to caring individuals like Tobias Palfrey, Regional Representative for the UK South region, and The Tricky Period, people experiencing homelessness can have a more comfortable period!
Addressing Period Poverty
Even before the current wave of financial instability caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, period poverty was a major issue faced by those in difficult circumstances. Not being able to afford period products can mean making do with what you have, like newspapers or rags, which can cause discomfort. Determined to help those facing period poverty, Caroline Varney-Bowers, a librarian in Norfolk, England, started a project called The Tricky Period. Using her position as Community Librarian, she gathered supplies and distributed them from her library. Bags of period products are available for anyone who needs them; no proof of need or other gatekeeping measures are required.
Impressed with the service provided, Regional Representative Tobias reached out to Caroline to see how he could help. He discovered that while the local council provides supplies, “the products given out are basic and menstrual cups are not one of them.” In order to provide more variety, Tobias purchased menstrual cups for the project using funds generously provided by our donors. Tobias noted that menstrual cups are a more eco-friendly period product, and that they carefully considered the needs of those experiencing homelessness when they chose which products to purchase. “I speak with homeless individuals on a regular basis, and knowing that I’ve been able to help people who already have so many worries to deal with is great. It’s fired me up to get on to more acts as soon as I can!” Tobias said.
Provide Cleanliness and Comfort
Were you inspired by Tobias’ act of kindness? You can help, too! A quick internet search should tell you what menstrual product programs, organizations, shelters, and pantries are near you. Contact them directly to find out what they need! If you need money to purchase products, you can apply for funding from Random Acts on our Sponsored Acts page. Our Regional Representatives are available to guide you through the process!