East Sussex Library Service are helping to tackle period poverty by accepting donations of tampons, pads and reusable period products at all 17 libraries, to supply to anyone who needs them.

Covid-19 has significantly increased the demand for free products. Since January 2021, bags containing a selection of tampons, and day and night sanitary pads have been made available outside Eastbourne and Hastings libraries for people to take. The libraries teams have so far handed out more than 200 bags of free period products at Eastbourne Library and more than 40 bags at Hastings Library. In July Hailsham Library also started giving out free bags.

To make the project Covid-safe, products are currently being supplied in paper bags to minimise contact with the products. They also include information on local health and wellbeing support.

Did you know

  •  42% of people in the UK who menstruate have had to use makeshift period products because they struggle to afford period products.
  • More than a quarter of women had been forced to miss work or school because they could not afford period products.
  • 36% of girls aged 14-21 in the UK have struggled to afford or access period products during the Coronavirus pandemic.

‘Major kudos to @EastSussexCC Eastbourne library for having a trolley of free period products outside for people to take when needed. #period poverty – Twitter user

How you can help

To continue being able to offer free products to those in need, libraries are asking for donations from residents and the public.

“We have already seen how many people this initiative can help and we hope that, with the generosity of people in East Sussex, we will soon be able to make donated products available for people to collect from even more of our libraries.” – Cllr Claire Dowling, lead member for communities.

There are donation points in all 17 East Sussex libraries. Drop off any sealed period products – tampons, pads, liners, reusables – to the donation point, information desk or pass to a member of staff.

Support for the project has been extremely positive, so continuing to offer free period products is essential. Please donate to your local library if you can. More information about period poverty and the scheme can be found on the East Sussex libraries website.

end period poverty