On 17 September the Hampshire County Council-run library opened a local distribution point for free sanitary products, ensuring that these important supplies are available to those who might otherwise try to manage without.
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, said:
“A library is a safe, neutral place that anyone can attend without fear of stigma. For this reason, and also because of its central location, friendly staff and range of services, the library is an ideal place to host a scheme like this.
“Our libraries are becoming hubs of community activity, where people come for an increasingly wide variety of services. Through the ‘Tricky Period’ initiative we can support people’s health and dignity, while also encouraging even more people to attend their local library, where they can access a wealth of resources, meet new people and take part in activities and courses. I hope it will give confidence to people who may be feeling isolated, and introduce them to other services that they will find useful.”
Anyone who needs sanitary products can complete a simple order form, available in the library, which does not ask for any personal details, apart from a first name to enable orders to be given to the right person. The process is kept very discreet to encourage people to use the service without feeling judged or drawing attention to their situation.
The majority of the sanitary products available at the library are supplied by Romsey Foodbank. By sending these products to the library for distribution, the foodbank hopes to reach more of the people who need them, who will not necessarily be food bank users. For example, single dads who can afford food but are embarrassed and unsure what to buy when it comes to sanitary products; or young girls from low-income families who may already have access to products through their school, but may prefer the anonymity of a visit to the library.
At the same time, Romsey Library has also become one of Romsey’s donation points for non-perishable food products, which will be sent to the foodbank for distribution.
People who wish to donate sanitary products to the scheme can hand them in at the library or at the foodbank.