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Surrey becomes the first county in England to provide free period products

On Friday 28 May, on Menstrual Health Day 2021, Surrey County Council is proud to be launching a ground-breaking initiative with charity Binti International, to provide free period products in selected locations across Surrey and be the first county council in the UK to start eradicating period stigma.

Donation bins and collection boxes where residents can help themselves to pads if needed, can be found in selected libraries across Surrey.

A Binti app is also available to download so residents can find the nearest location where free period products are available to collect and where you can donate. The app is available to download on the Apple app store for IOS users or the Google Play store for Android users.

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council said: “I’m delighted this initiative is launching and it’s something we’re very proud to be a part of. Period products should be available to anybody who needs them, and it’s great that Surrey is leading the way in making this a reality.

We would hate to think anybody would suffer in silence without access to these products for fear of shame or indignity. That absolutely should not be the case, and we hope that this initiative is an important step towards eradicating that stigma.”

Katie Stewart, Strategic Lead for Equality Diversity and Inclusion at Surrey County Council, said: “Surrey County Council is proud to be involved in this initiative in partnership with Binti International to provide equal access to pads so no one need suffer the indignity of managing their period without period products.

We hope that Surrey residents will support this great initiative by donating products, and that businesses across the county will do so by providing products for their employees, so that more and more collection and donation points across Surrey can be provided. It’s time for period dignity across Surrey”.

Binti International founder, Manjit K Gill said: “As we celebrate our 7th year, we are delighted to announce this new campaign with Surrey County Council. As the first period charity in the UK, our grass root level conversations have taught us that deep rooted barriers to breaking stigmas attached to periods, are shared by all communities in one way or another. It’s been good to see organisations raising awareness of period poverty in the UK and offering free pads, especially in the pandemic. However, the provision of free period products satisfies the immediacy of the need, this isn’t a catalyst for change if it’s not partnered with normalising the period discussion. We have to be brave enough to challenge the reason behind the shame that leads to so many women and girls suffering in silence – not talking about it.

Our Dignity At Work campaign is ground-breaking because on the one hand we normalise the provision of period products in all public spaces and secondly, we encourage conversation about the big elephant in the room. Let’s end period stigma and expect period products everywhere“.

For more information on how to donate and collect and ways to get involved, visit our Surrey Matters article or the Binti website.

ENDS

Editors notes

There will be donation bins and collection boxes where residents can help themselves to pads, in selected libraries across Surrey: Ash, Ashford, Ashtead, Addlestone, Banstead, Bookham, Camberley, Caterham Hill, Caterham Valley, Chertsey, Cobham, Cranleigh, Dittons, Dorking, Egham, Epsom, Esher, Ewell, Farnham, Frimley Green, Godalming, Guildford, Haslemere, Hersham, Horley, Horsley, Knaphill, Leatherhead, Lightwater, Merstham, Molesey, Oxted, Redhill, Reigate, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Walton, West Byfleet, Weybridge, Woking.

There will also be donation bins and collection boxes available in Surrey County Council buildings at Quadrant Court – Woking, Consort House – Redhill, Fairmount House – Leatherhead, Woodhatch Place – Reigate and Ashley Park House – Walton-on-Thames.

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