New project aims to tackle period poverty in Hastings

Claire Collins runs the Hastings Red Box Project.
Claire Collins runs the Hastings Red Box Project.

A mum from Hastings is behind a new project to help tackle period poverty in local schools.

Claire Collins has brought the national Red Box Project to the town, with the aim of providing free sanitary products to those who need it, but may not be able to afford it.

Claire explains: “We have swing bins where people can donate sanitary products and packets of new underwear for the use of young women and girls in schools, in homeless shelters, that kind of thing.

“We go round and collect these sanitary products and deliver them to the schools so students can access them whenever they need.”

The girls are given enough sanitary towels to last them through that month’s period.

Claire added: “It’s focussing really on those suffering from period poverty, but they can also be picked up by any girl who needs it.”

Claire started the project at the end of August, but it has really taken off in recent weeks.

She said: “People really have just got so behind it. It’s brilliant. You do not realise how close to the heart these things are until you start looking into it.”

Claire decided to bring the Red Box Project to Hastings after witnessing poverty through her job.

She said: “I work in the Job Centre as a work coach and I see how much depravation there is in the area and how many people we refer to the foodbank.

“If they are struggling for food, then sanitary products would be the last thing on their minds.”

So far ARK Little Ridge and St Paul’s School have boxes available for pupils.

Claire says the project has also been embraced by Hastings Academy.

Collection bins can be found in Summerfields Leisure Centre, Falaise Fitness Centre, Ashdown House, Heron House, Dipped Desserts in Battle Road, Hastings Tourist Information Centre, the Community Hub in Hastings Town Hall, Muriel Matters House and Bexhill Hospital. A donation bin is also expected to be in place in Asda in the next couple of weeks.

Claire is keen to extend the project into Ore and the Rother area, but needs more volunteers to help make this happen.

She is also looking for donations of money, bins or boxes to help move the project forward.

Anyone who would like to get involved with the project should call Claire on 07535924537 or email redboxprojecthastings@gmail.com