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Bristol holds the UK’s first period poverty summit

Over 80 period poverty experts attended to discuss how Bristol could eradicate the problem

Bristol city council has hosted the UK’s first period poverty summit – after making a unanimous decision to be the first English city to attempt to entirely eradicate the problem.

Councillor Helen Godwin, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Women, Children and Families, kicked off the event earlier this week, bringing together experts and organisations from across the country to help.

Bristol Homeless Period, No More Taboo and Brook charity were all part of over 80 experts who gathered to share ideas about access to products, improving education and exploring the environmental sustainability of products.

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“I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s a relatively straightforward thing to make happen,” Godwin told The Big Issue. “We wanted to use that expertise to come together and open discussions and debate about raising awareness and improving education and ensure nobody in Bristol should have to worry about period poverty.”

Eradicating period poverty is one of the city’s three key focuses for 2019 as part of the council’s One City Approach, which brings together businesses and organisations to develop solutions to problems together.

From September this year period products will be available to all children in Bristol schools from school year five to year 13. 

The news follows Scottish Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell’s announcement of another £4m in funding for Scottish councils to tackle period poverty in partnerships with local organisations, including free products in public buildings such as libraries and leisure centres.

Period poverty-busting measures are, of course, no new feat. We’ve reported on the women empowering football fans across the country to bring free period products into clubs, the social enterprise harnessing spending power to bring products to those who need it most and the 19-year-old taking on the government in a legal battle.