Mum teams up with South Tyneside College after launching campaign to tackle period poverty

Natalie Cawkwell
Natalie Cawkwell

A mum who launched a Facebook appeal to tackle period poverty has expanded her project and now joined forces with a local college.

Natalie Cawkwell started a campaign in the summer after reading how girls were missing school because their parents were unable to afford sanitary products.

Her aim was for young women and girls to get through life without the fear of an extra monthly strain on already stretched finances.

The 23-year-old, from Hebburn, had a huge initial response when she asked family and friends to donate to females in need.

Natalie, who has a baby boy and graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in Human Biosciences in July, then set up a Facebook page called The Period Poverty Project.

Her idea has now gathered so much support that she is working with other businesses to expand the help she can offer and raise even greater awareness.

She now works alongside other volunteer organisations and has joined forces with South Tyneside College.

She said: "My project has expanded a lot and I am now working with other organisations such as The Comfrey Project, Soroptimist International, who have agreed to help me fundraise and South Tyneside College, where I set up a stall and give out emergency sanitary packs and raise awareness of my project, amongst other things.

"In return, they are willing to help me fundraise."

Natalie left sanitary packs in student toilets and will be at the campus every four weeks.

She now says her long term goal would be to become a registered charity.

She added: "I am still a long way away from being able to register as a charity but this is a long term goal and hopefully, with the help of the other organisations who are coming onboard, I will get there."

A drop-off point for sanitary products has now been set up at Boots at Prince Edward Road in South Shields for anyone who wishes to donate to Natalie's appeal.

She also has a Go fund me page linked to her Facebook group and will be hosting a Christmas coffee morning at Monkton Methodist Church Hall on December 8 at 10am.