A period poverty campaign group within the district are ‘ecstatic’ with a new Government scheme that will now provide free sanitary products in every state-funded school in England.

The First Stop Project, formally known as The Red Box Project branch within Epping Forest, is urging every school and college within the district to sign the up to the scheme.

Their mission is to reach out to those who may not have access to tampons, towels and clean underwear due to financial and social circumstances.

Yve Oronto-Vidal, the founder and co-ordinator of The First Stop Project from Loughton, was inspired to volunteer for campaign by staff at Epping Forest Food Bank.

She said: “The creation of The Red Box Project UK lead to independent Coordinator’s like myself, to set up their own community projects - The Red Box Project Epping Forest and we have worked tirelessly to have Period Poverty in schools recognised.

“Our work has shown that having freely available period products in school can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to participate in their education, to reach their full potential.”

Last year, at the request of Epping Forest District Council Wellness Group, Ms Oronto-Vidal was asked to reach out to organisations across Epping Forest and Harlow to support the project.

Tottenham Independent:

The First Stop Project founder and co-ordinator, Yve Oronto-Vidal, has been collecting donations of sanitary products to help end period poverty for girls and women across Epping Forest

Since then, Debden Park High School, Roding Valley High School, Davenant Foundation School and Epping Forest Youth Council have also signed up.

Nationwide, coordinators / volunteers, have delivered period products to over 5,000 educational settings across the UK.

Ms Oronto-Vidal added: “We will post via social media continuously throughout the week in order to encourage and remind schools to take up this offer so that their students can have access to free period products.

“There is no means-testing for the scheme - it is for any student who needs it, for whatever reason.”

“Our aims now are to focus on reaching out to new non-educational settings to support their needs and to continue to support the settings that we have placed boxes.”

For more information about The First Stop Project, visit: http://www.thefirststopproject.co.uk/