Red Box Project aims to tackle period poverty in Hackney

Red Box Project volunteers with MP Diane Abbott. (Credit: Elise, Red Box Project)

Young girls in poverty are struggling to afford sanitary products which the Red Box Project seeks to tackle. 

A new franchise of the Red Box Project opened in Hackney this year and is seeking donations of period products, ideally sanitary towels, and plain cotton pants. This comes as statistics were revealed in early 2018 that one in seven girls in the UK struggle to afford sanitary products.

With forty-one percent of Hackney children living in poverty and a controversial 5 percent VAT on sanitary products, girls are struggling to afford menstruation products and can miss school as a result.  

This year, Gemma Abbott and Elise Evans opened their franchise of Red Box Project, a charity that distributes donations of sanitary products to 46 schools across the boroughs of Hackney and Stoke Newington.

One charity volunteer said: “Girls have restricted access to education, on top of period poverty.” The project seeks to make a big difference on young girls in the community.

Ms Evans said: “People are shocked to realise this problem even exists. We are asked: ‘You’re doing this project for this country?’”

Ms Evans added that these are necessities that “should be provided by the government”. 


Red Box Project volunteer with donations. (Credit: Elise, Red Box Project)

Plan UK’s 2017 survey revealed that over 49 per cent of girls have missed at least one full day of school due to their period.

The project has received support from members of the community, including MP Diane Abbott. Young boys and girls have been pictured helping find donations.