Disability Action Yorkshire has opened its doors to a grass-roots, not for profit initiative, which aims to support young people through their periods by providing red boxes filled with free period products to local schools.
In addition to providing a storage facility for Red Box Harrogate at its Hornbeam Park headquarters, learners from the charity will gain skills by working alongside volunteers to pack boxes with sanitary protection, tights and pants.
They will also experience warehouse duties by sorting through donations and subsequently stacking shelves with the items.
The Red Box Project is a nationwide project designed to provide sanitary protection in schools for young people who cannot afford it. The idea behind the project is that the young people can simply visit the red box in a designated area of the school and take what they need.
The project began in Portsmouth around a year and a half ago, before coming to Harrogate in July 2017, where it now has over 30 donation points in locations such as supermarkets, shops and churches.
Jackie Snape, Chief Executive of Disability Action Yorkshire, said:
This is a project that I feel very passionately about, and one that I’m delighted to be able to assist by not only providing them with storage space, but by involving our learners too.
We run a very successful second-hand furniture venture at Hornbeam Park, where disabled people are able to learn basic retailing skills. With the Red Box Project they are now experiencing warehousing and fulfilment duties, all of which we hope will eventually lead to employment.
Jay Kelly – a mother of four teenage daughters who began Harrogate Red Box Project – said:
The help we’ve received from Disability Action Yorkshire has been invaluable, and we can’t thank the charity enough for getting involved with our project.
Disability Action Yorkshire has been able to provide us with much needed space for us to sort through donations, as well as help in packing boxes before they are distributed to local schools.
The Red Box Project is not just about ‘period poverty’, it is supporting those who are too embarrassed to speak to their parents, particularly if they just live with their father.
All we ask is that when you are doing your weekly big shop, you buy an extra pack of tampons, tights, pants, etc. and donate to your nearest Red Box donation point.
This is a project that is reliant entirely upon donations, making the contribution of Disability Action Yorkshire an invaluable asset for all involved, and one which will hopefully help us to expand this scheme across the whole of the Harrogate District.