A young mother forced to deprive herself of sanitary products to feed her children has launched a campaign to help others who suffer from menstrual poverty.
Alex Chetwynd started his own charity after being spurred on by his own experience.
When money was tight, Alex, a 23-year-old mother of three, found herself using wads of toilet paper and scraps of cloth because she couldn’t afford towels and tampons.
Menstrual poverty in the UK affects one in ten women between the ages of 14 and 21 and after experiencing it on her own, she decided she wanted to do her part to make a difference.
So Alex created his charity, Period Progress, in September, reports Lancs Live.
As a stay-at-home mom to three little girls, she made their food a priority when times were tough as her husband was studying at university.
“There have been a number of occasions where I have had to sacrifice products because I could not work due to lack of childcare, so we are only relying on my husband’s maintenance loans. ‘university to survive month to month, “said Alex.
“Obviously this can leave finances very tight and when that happens I always have to sacrifice commodities for other necessities like food and anything our children may need for nursery and school.
“As a mother, their needs will always come before mine, so I would use toilet paper and old cut clothes instead.”
Sometimes Alex didn’t feel like he could ask for help from those close to him.
She said: “If I had the chance, my mom would buy me the products and send them to me, but it wasn’t often because most of the time I was too embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t. afford me the products. “
Knowing that other women shared similar experiences, Alex knew she wanted to do something and be there to help when women didn’t feel confident enough to ask those around them.
She hopes to have access to young girls and women in need through schools, colleges and universities, as well as to provide a service where people can seek help and advice.
While the association is in its early days, she has been busy finding volunteers, talking to women in her local community, and using an Amazon wishlist to start her collection. of sanitary products to be able to distribute them as needed.
She has been overwhelmed by the response on her social media pages and hopes the support will help her reach those in need.
“The number of women who have already come forward and said that it has affected them at some point in their lives and that they would like to get involved is huge,” she said.
“I want to help end menstrual poverty because it shouldn’t be happening in 2021 and the fact that it’s still a taboo subject, I think, is really wrong. Over the past few years, society has really become good at talking about mental health and that’s amazing.
“But something as natural as having your period is still frowned upon to discuss and it’s just about raising awareness and breaking down that stigma.”
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