Sanitary Towel Appeal for asylum seekers

// 13 August 2009

Caroline Glasner of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality writes:

I’m now a regular volunteer at the New North London Synagogue monthly drop-in for destitute asylum seekers. The women who attend have fled traumas such as torture, rape, separation from their children or murder of family members. Month on month, I’ve seen dozens of these women plead for sanitary towels from a supply that is way insufficient. It is humbling and heartbreaking knowing these basic necessities are unaffordable. It is shocking they have to resort to newspaper and rags which cause nasty infections. For me, the PMT, pain and discomfort is bad enough! Add on having no sanitary towels and it becomes quite horrifying.

I recently joined JCORE in a role to offer practical help to asylum seekers and refugees. As one of my first tasks, I really want to secure a years supply of sanitary towels for the drop-in. It is so achievable with the 14p supermarket value packs from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.

Would you be willing to add a pack or two to your next supermarket shop? Or could you donate just £1 to buy 7 packs?

Click here to help / donate.

Via womensgrid

Comments From You

Debi Linton // Posted 13 August 2009 at 12:29 pm

I have scores of Sanitary towels left over from my switch to the mooncup (from which I have never looked back). I’d be more than happy to send them on; this is a great idea.

Maria // Posted 13 August 2009 at 1:12 pm

Have you considered sponges or Mooncups as alternatives to disposable pads or tampons? They might be more cost effective and are environmentally sound.

Perhaps a distributor would be able to give you a discount bearing in mind the purpose for which you need them?

Catherine Redfern // Posted 13 August 2009 at 1:26 pm

Maria – maybe you could contact the organisers of this campaign to ask. Maybe they would be interested to accept donations of washable pads or mooncups too.

R // Posted 13 August 2009 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for posting this- it is always good to know that there is something practical one can do to assist.

(On the other hand, it saddens me that they even have to ask..)

Kate // Posted 13 August 2009 at 1:40 pm

I too have a few packets of sanitary towels left over from when I started using washable pads. I’ve been wondering how I was ever going to do with them – this is a really good use for them. Thanks for telling us about this.

Debi Linton // Posted 13 August 2009 at 1:56 pm

I assume the reason the centre doesn’t want to invest in long term products is because (hopefully) the women served by it aren’t each coming in month-after-month. Assuming we’re talking about providing a short term need for as many women as possible, I’d think tampons and towels more cost effective in this situation.

Kate // Posted 13 August 2009 at 6:56 pm

My spare sanitary towels are packaged up and ready to go. Also emailed Caroline to ask if they’d considered reusable pads/Mooncups/sponges to see what she thinks. While Debi may be right about disposable pads being more cost-effective, I thought it was worthwhile suggesting it to Caroline, who will have a clearer idea of what is better. In any case, I’ll be forwarding this appeal to all the women I know.

polly // Posted 13 August 2009 at 8:08 pm

Can I point out that a lot of female asylum seekers have experienced some pretty horrific rapes, so something like a mooncup, may be – to be frank – not suitable. There may also be cultural reasons why women don’t want to use them. And since most aren’t likely to be living with wondrous washing facilities, washable pads wouldn’t be much use anyway.

That aside, I think this is a wonderful initiative, and it’s horrific that women who’ve usually had nightmarish experiences have to beg for the most basic things like this.

Terisalyn // Posted 15 August 2009 at 10:08 pm

An idea – are there any menopause support groups you could contact for donations? I had lots of supplies left over when I stopped needing them…

Electro Violet // Posted 16 August 2009 at 6:18 pm

This is something that had never even crossed my mind before I read this article. I’m currently making the switchover to washable pads, & I will be sure to donate my spare packs of disposable pads to this cause.

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