University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has a red box in the Breast Screening Unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) for the donation of sanitary products, thanks to the initiative of one of its Clinical Support Workers.
Sian Bonnell, who has worked for the Trust for four years, contacted the Red Box Project in March 2019. The initiative then sent the department the materials needed to set up a Red Box donation point behind Reception at the Breast Screening Unit, at the RLI.
The Red Box Project is a community-based, not-for-profit initiative, which aims to support young people throughout their periods by providing red boxes filled with free period products to local schools.
The team has also started a collection box for users and visitors of the Breast Screening Service.
Sian said: “Issues surrounding period poverty are very relevant nationally at the moment, this is a great initiative to support our both our community and those that access our service and it felt like an opportunity not to be missed.”
Georgia Argent, Head of Department for Breast Screening, UHMBT, added: “This is a fantastic initiative and I want to praise the ingenuity of Sian.
“We will be collecting sanitary product donations for our service users and visitors as well as for the local schools. We want to help tackle health inequalities and create a progressive supportive environment for those attending our service.”
The Trust also has a donation box in the library at the RLI’s Education Centre, which was installed in March.
Sue Smith, OBE, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, added: “One of the Trust’s key focuses is inclusivity and making everyone feel valued, which is reflected in our Behavioural Standards Framework, Freedom to Speak Up initiatives and LGBT and disability networks for staff.
“By backing the Red Box Project the Trust shows its commitment to help tackle health inequalities and create a progressive supportive environment for those attending our Breast Screening Service and for young women in the community.”
The Red Box Project was founded in March 2017 by three friends who wanted to give young people in their local area access to sanitary products. After reading about ‘Period Poverty‘ in the news, they were angered at the idea that young women were missing out on their education because they couldn’t afford the products they needed during their period.
You can find out more about the Red Box Project here http://redboxproject.org/