Agenda item - Countering Period Poverty
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Countering Period Poverty
- Meeting of Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities Committee, Monday, 3rd December, 2018 4.00pm (Item 34.)
- View the background to item 34.
Report of Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities and Housing (copy attached)
34.1 The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Families, Children and Learning which had been prepared in response to a petition asking Brighton & Hove City Council to implement a policy for the distribution of free period products to schools to counter period poverty.
34.2 The report provided an update on the work of the volunteer run group Red Box in Brighton and Hove schools (in addition to the project’s own presentation about their work), both in terms of access to products and the stigma attached to talking about periods. The report also gave examples of other activity in the city to help with period poverty and recommendations for action the council might wish to support, enable or take. It was noted that the document setting (Appendix 1) setting out the council’s own strategy had used some of the work of Chella Quint of the ”Period Positive” project and that an amended document acknowledging this had been placed on the Council website.
34.3 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, commended the report and the work which had been undertaken by the Red Box Project, and was pleased to note the work that was in place to seek to ensure funding and sponsorship in order to secure this work in future, including fundraising and approaches to local businesses.
34.4 Councillor A Norman also commended the excellent work carried out and enquired regarding ways in which members could provide support for this valuable initiative. It was highlighted that this issue was one surrounded by secrecy and about which girls were embarrassed in the longer term the aim was to open up dialogue so that those who needed assistance were not embarrassed to seek help and that this was taken forward as part of the sex education programme.
34.5 Councillor Morgan was pleased to note that sponsorship was being sought from local businesses and other sponsors, noting that Brighton and Hove Football Club for example were already involved with this project. Councillor Marsh stated that this was an amazing project.
34.6 Councillor Peltzer Dunn welcomed the report and the work carried out by the Red Box Project in highlighting this issue, some of the figures were horrifying and he hoped that measures were in place to assist in broader parental education too. There was also an element of parental responsibility involved as it was regrettable that young women were placed in such an embarrassing position. the Consultant, Behaviour and attendance, Sam Beale confirmed that national guidance was awaited aimed at raising awareness of this issue and incorporating it into the schools sex education programme.
34.7 Joanna Martindale, Hangleton & Knoll Project congratulated the scheme and the it’s work in seeking to remove the stigma surrounding period poverty. In answer to questions it was confirmed that information and posters was provided with each box in order to roll out publicity.
34.8 RESOLVED – (1) That Committee supports one-off funding of £3,620 be made available from within existing 2018/19 budget provision for the start-up cost to fund Red Boxes for all secondary, primary, junior and special schools in Brighton & Hove;
(2) That the Committee notes that Red Box will be seeking sponsorship from the business community in Brighton & Hove and that the council encourages the private sector corporate social responsibility group to support the ongoing delivery of Red Boxes to Brighton & Hove schools;
(3) That the Committee supports the continuing work of the council’s PSHE education service and school nursing service in supporting schools to reduce stigma and shame related to periods and provide education on puberty and changes within the body;
(4) That Committee notes the activity taking place in community settings in the city to tackle period poverty especially that of food banks and libraries; and
(5) That Committee approves the council using its internal and external communication channels to promote donations to Red Box.
- Countering Period Poverty, item 34. PDF 170 KB
- Brighton Hove period poverty updated document, item 34. PDF 230 KB