Period Poverty initiative extended in Offaly
To coincide with the addition of new partners providing free feminine hygiene products donated by Offaly County Council, Healthy Offaly has decided to relaunch and extend the Combat Period Poverty project to highlight this hugely important service for women and young girls.
The products are available in the Offaly County Council headquarters on Charleville Road, Tullamore, as well as in the Birr, Tullamore and Edenderry Municipal District Offices. They are also available in the entire Offaly Library network branches located in Birr, Banagher, Ferbane, Kilcormac, Clara, Tullamore, Daingean & Edenderry.
New partners who are assisting Offaly County Council with the rollout are the Arden View Community & Family Resource Centre Tullamore, the Clara Family Resource Centre and St Mary’s Youth Centre, Tullamore with free period products now being made available in the toilet areas at these locations.
The genesis of this project can be traced to a county council meeting in April 2021 as a result of a motion by Councillor Clare Claffey. Following adoption of the motion, the Council Executive committed to sourcing funding to provide free feminine hygiene products on a pilot basis. The council’s community section went on to secure funding through Healthy Ireland’s Community Resilience Fund for a short-term project, and so the project began.
Welcoming the initiative, Offaly Comhairle Na Óg said: "No woman, girl, intersex, trans or non-binary person who menstruates, should have to exclude themselves from the activities of daily living during menstruation or suffer the physical and mental health impacts resulting from both recurrent exclusion and the use of unsuitable period products. Government, NGOs, private individuals all have a role to play in achieving this objective." It said it welcomed Offaly County Council's initiative and applauds them and Cllr Claffey for bringing the issue of period poverty to the forefront.
The initiative will help those who are perhaps having difficulty affording period products or getting access to them for social or cultural reasons. Thanks to funding received from the Department of Health and Sláintecare from its Community Resilience Fund, Offaly County Council has delivered a pilot rollout of free period products at five County Council offices providing access to the public. The locations are Áras an Chontae, Tullamore; Birr (incorporating Birr Library), Tullamore and Edenderry Municipal District Offices, Tullamore Library, Arden View Community & Family Resource Centre, Clara Family Resource Centre, and St. Mary’s Youth Centre, Tullamore.
The free products have been placed in the toilet areas of the local authority buildings and partner organisations for those in need of this service.