Providing vulnerable women with essential sanitary products

Bec Horner

Bec Horner

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Providing vulnerable women with essential sanitary products

Our guest blog comes from Phoebe at The Lunar Project.

The Lunar Project is a women-led charity based in York. We support vulnerable people who need immediate access to essential items like menstrual and sanitary products. The project was founded by a group of friends in 2017.

We started noticing more and more people living on the streets of York and we wanted to help.

We discovered that women were struggling to get access to simple menstrual and hygiene products, they also felt embarrassed and ashamed to ask for them.

Many women experiencing homelessness have fled from domestic abuse or experienced sexual violence so sometimes find it difficult visiting soup kitchens and hostels etc. where they might be in a big group of people and could feel threatened and unsafe.

We made the decision to “moonwalk” round the city a couple of times a week. We would distribute items most needed, as well as hand out hot drinks, soup and sweets. This allowed us to talk to the women and find out what we could do to really help and make a difference.

Over a year later, and now a registered charity, we have listened and reacted and now we distribute 80-litre pink boxes filled with fresh underwear, tampons, sanitary towels, reusable menstrual products and incontinence pads helping services, community centres, libraries and food banks all over the city.

Anyone who needs to can easily, safely and discreetly access these essential products.

The next phase was to help educate people on what support is out there.

Living on the streets obviously means that gaining access online is tricky, and many people think help might only be available through GP or third party referral.

We needed information all in one place, so we created the Lunar Directory, it’s a handy pocket-sized booklet full to the brim of services in York, ranging from drug and alcohol support to domestic violence aid and even help for pets living on the streets, as well as information for local food banks across the city.

The Lunar Directory is made of a thin, flexible and waterproof material called polymer – it’s actually the same stuff the new bank notes are made out of. This material makes it ideal for rough sleeping conditions.

The next step for us is to continue working hard to make York the first period poverty free city by 2020.

You can support us and be in the chance to win loads of amazing prizes in our February Prize draw. We have been so kindly supported by some brilliant York businesses, including Azendi, Oscar’s Wine Bar and Bistro, The Little Apple bookshop, Bath House, to name just a few. Hop over to https://www.gofundme.com/thelunarprojectfebruaryprizedraw for more information.

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