Period poverty mum gave up sanitary products to keep children fed

A young mother who was forced to forego toiletries to feed her children has launched a campaign to help others who suffer from period poverty.

Alex Chetwynd started her own charity after being inspired to action by her own experience.

When money was tight, Alex, a 23-year-old mother of three, had to use toilet rolls and scraps of cloth because she couldn’t afford pads and tampons.

Period poverty in the UK affects 1 in 10 women between the ages of 14 and 21 and after experiencing it, she decided to do her part to make a difference.

So Alex started her period Progress charity in September, reports Lancs Live.

As a mother of three young daughters who stays at home, she made eating her priority during difficult times when her husband was studying at university.

“There have been a number of cases where I’ve had to sacrifice products because I couldn’t work due to a lack of childcare.

“Of course this can make finances very tight and when that happens I always have to sacrifice products for other necessities like food and everything our children need for kindergarten and school.

“As a mother, her needs will always come before my own, so I would use things like toilet paper and old clothes instead.”

Sometimes Alex didn’t feel like she could ask for help from those close to her.

She said, “If I was lucky, my mother would buy me the products and have them shipped to me, but that didn’t happen often because I was mostly too embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t afford the products. “

Knowing that other women had similar experiences, Alex knew that she wanted to do something about it and help when women don’t feel safe enough to ask their fellow human beings.

She hopes to have access to young girls and women in need through schools, colleges and universities and to offer a service that people can call for help and advice.

While the charity was still in its infancy, it was busy finding volunteers, speaking to women in their community, and using an Amazon wish list to start their collection of toiletries to distribute as needed.

She is 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 reached out and said that they will be affected at some point in their lives and that they would like to participate is huge,” she said.

“I want to help end period poverty because it shouldn’t happen in 2021 and the fact that it’s still a taboo subject is really wrong in my opinion. In the past few years society has gotten really good at discussing mental health and that’s amazing.

“But having something as natural as having a period is still frowned upon to discuss, and it’s all about raising awareness and breaking that stigma.”

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