We spoke to Jenalyn Rawes, one of the women managing Red Box Project in Tottenham that provides free sanitary products to young women.
Can you give an overview of the project and work that you’re doing?
The Red Box Project is a community led project – we are run by local communities all across the UK. We provide easy access and free sanitary products to ensure that no young woman misses a class or an entire day of school due to their periods. All our sanitary products are donated by the community through our donation drop off points located at different local businesses.
Where can red boxes be found in Tottenham?
We currently have three in Tottenham – Shukran Best Kebab in West Green Road, Needham and Poulier Solicitors on the High Road and T on the Green in Bruce Castle Park.
Where did the idea for Red Box Project come from?
Three friends from Portsmouth became concerned about ‘period poverty’, decided to take action and started contacting local schools in their area. They found out that the issue was real and that the resource was desperately needed. Recognising that we need the initiative nationwide, they started to welcome individuals from all over the UK to become Red Box Project coordinators in their local areas. Red Box Project Tottenham joined in March this year.
How can people get involved?
The community can easily get involved by making a donation in either sanitary products or cash through our Just Giving page. We have three local donation points at the moment, but we are working on talking to more local businesses so we can have more red boxes across Tottenham and make it easy for the community to get involved.
Why are projects like Red Box Tottenham so important?
This project is so close to home as growing up in the Philippines we often didn’t have access to sanitary products. Most of the time I had to use cloth and going to school with it was horrible. I was surprised to find out that ‘period poverty’ existed in a developed country like the UK. A recent survey said 1 in 10 girls between the ages of 14 to 21 can’t afford sanitary products, and they miss a class or school altogether just because they may not have access to or can’t afford these products. 34% of Haringey residents are living below the poverty line and having a Red Box Project in our area is a simple way of helping these young women who can’t afford these products.
We currently sponsor four schools and one youth centre in Tottenham and Wood Green. We would like to sponsor as many as possible, we want to ensure that all our young women are supported in their education and ensure that they do not miss their classes.
To find out more about the Red Box Project Tottenham, visit their Just Giving page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org