Why these teens on the National Citizen Service programme will be walking from Seaburn to South Shields in their pyjamas
A group of South Tyneside teenagers, who are spending part of their summer holidays tackling period poverty, were shocked to see how many people are affected by the issue in the borough.
As part of their National Citizen Service (NCS) the 12 youngsters, aged between 15-19 are raising money to put together boxes of period products which they will then distribute to those who can’t afford to buy them.
The group, who attend schools and colleges across the borough, are hoping to raise £200 to fund the products which will go to local homeless shelters, food banks and community projects.
In the first of their fundraising efforts, they held a bake sale at Ocean Road community centre in South Shields on Friday, August 21.
They will also take part in a sponsored pyjama walk on Tuesday, August 27 from Seaburn to South Shields seafront.
“There’s 140,000 girls miss school every year because of their period and that’s just in the UK,” said team member, Maisie Hatch, 15, from South Shields.
“There’s a lot of homeless people in our community and people who can’t afford products, so it is definitely needed.
“It’s more of an issue than people think.”
The teenagers were shocked by how many people were affected by period poverty in their local area, when they started their research for the project.
“It was when we started doing our surveys with the public that it became clear that it was a bigger problem than we thought,” said Maisie, who attends Career College North East in South Shields.
“We thought it was important to do something because it’s a problem that doesn’t get spoken about.”
The NCS scheme aims to give young people the opportunity to prepare for their futures and work on their personal development through a series of challenging activities, and supports them to design and deliver their own social action projects in their communities.
Maisie added: “It’s been good getting out in the community and speaking to people.
“It feels like we’re doing something positive.”