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Provide Adequate Access to Menstrual Products at Universities (Template Letters)

Updated: Nov 9

BGP invites you to participate in our campaign for menstrual equity at universities. Featured in this blog are two template letters to get your voice heard by calling for adequate access to menstrual products at universities. The first template letter is for students and the second template letter is for non-students, both to help you write to your local MP and/or vice chancellor of your university (past/present).


Why is this important?

In recent months, Bloody Good Period has received a growing number of requests for period products from university students. These items are essential for anyone who menstruates; lack of access has a huge impact on an individual’s self-esteem, physical and mental health, economic welfare and, of course, on a student’s ability to fully participate in their studies. Yet self-isolation and the ongoing financial impact of the pandemic mean that many students are now having to turn to a charity - already stretched to the limit by requests from other vulnerable groups - for these vital products.


“We do not believe that any student should have to worry about accessing menstrual products,” said Nikki Iyayi, Bloody Good Period’s Operations Assistant. “At BGP we are already working at 5-6 times our pre-Covid capacity, getting period supplies to refugees and asylum-seekers, food banks, community support groups, NHS frontline workers and those in financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. As a small charity, we simply don’t have the resources to supply universities as well - and we believe that universities should be providing these items to their students, as part of their duty of care towards them.”



STUDENTS



WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL MP AND/OR VICE CHANCELLOR OF YOUR UNIVERSITY NOW!



Please EDIT the template below to get your voice heard and 

campaign for menstrual equity at universities



Unsure about who your MP is or the name of your constituency? Find out here



To ensure that this letter reaches your MP/Vice Chancellor’s mailbox and DOES NOT get marked as spam, we kindly request that you EDIT the words in the letter marked in RED


Please DELETE this section before sending


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Your Address and Constituency)

Make sure to include this, as strict Parliamentary

rules will not allow your MP to take up your

issue if you do not live in their constituency


Dear (Your MP’s name or Vice Chancellor’s [of your university] name),


Whilst we recognise that the current situation with COVID has led to unprecedented changes in university operations, this letter highlights the lack of access to menstrual products to students that menstruate, the effects of the mental and emotional wellbeing of students due to this; and ultimately a lack of care for the academic progression of students as a result.


The average student spends roughly 21 hours a week on a full-time course, which does not include private study or group revision. For people who menstruate, which also includes students, up to 168 hours (7 days) in every week of a month and sometimes more, are spent experiencing the biological function of menstruating. Financial pressures due to COVID have led to three in five university students considering dropping out of university to bridge the financial gap.


The lack of access to menstrual products at (insert name of university) university, especially during this time, is devastating to student’s self-esteem, economic welfare and education. This means that students cannot fully participate in their studies whilst worrying about accessing menstrual products for themselves when they simply cannot afford to. For many students who are shielding during this time, going to the shop to source products is not possible. For students who may have access to sourcing products online, the price of menstrual products are too high whilst juggling other mandatory financial responsibilities, job loss and also providing care for their families. 


Students at this university have already suffered greatly following on from the chaos of results and clearing, increasing limitations on usual student life and the collapse of the job market. The effect of this often results in heavier and irregular periods, meaning a sustainable supply of products is even more vital. We also know that in times of financial scarcity, students are forced to make tough choices - between food and other essentials, and period products. Your students should not be forced to make choices like this. 


The shocking reality is that (insert name of university) university is simply not doing enough to ensure the mental, emotional and physical welfare of students by not providing adequate access to menstrual products. The consequence of this is an insult to students who rely on their institutions to cater to their needs, especially considering the events of this year. Menstrual product provision is a right for students.



Regards,



(Your Name)

A very frustrated university student who menstruates; a very frustrated individual who supports a university student that menstruates [choose an option which suits you]



NON-STUDENTS



Please EDIT the template below to get your voice heard and 

campaign for menstrual equity at universities



Unsure about who your MP is or the name of your constituency? Find out here


To ensure that this letter reaches your MP/Vice Chancellor’s mailbox and DOES NOT get marked as spam, we kindly request that you EDIT the words in the letter marked in RED


Please DELETE this section before sending


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Your Address and Constituency)

Make sure to include this, as strict Parliamentary

rules will not allow your MP to take up your

issue if you do not live in their constituency




Dear MP/Vice Chancellor,



It is with great displeasure that we are contacting you to highlight the increase in requests Bloody Good Period have received in recent weeks, regarding university students’ lack of access to menstrual products.  Having access to these items is essential for anyone who menstruates - not having them means that students are effectively held back in their studies. We believe that universities should provide menstrual products for students, especially in the current Covid climate - mirroring the government initiative for period product provision in primary and secondary schools, introduced in January 2020.



The current pandemic has brought to light both glaring inequalities and the fragilities of so many people’s lives.  The pandemic, associated restrictions and their ongoing, long-term implications mean that Bloody Good Period, like so many voluntary organisations, have been operating at maximum capacity - we have now provided over 50,000 packs of menstrual products all over the UK since the start of lockdown, which is over 5x our usual capacity. 



Our main focus is usually providing products to refugees and asylum-seekers. Since the start of lockdown, we have expanded our support to food banks, community groups, and other organisations  supporting the homeless, ex-offenders, those fleeing domestic violence, and other vulnerable groups. In the early days of the pandemic we even supported frontline NHS staff who could not access the products they needed. We simply do not have the resources to further expand our support to university students - but moreover, this gap should not be filled by a small charity. 



Students have already been through incredible stress as a result of Covid19 - from the chaos of results and clearing, to the limitations on usual student life and of course the collapse of the job market. We know from our work with our other groups that ongoing stress tends to lead to irregular and heavy periods, meaning a sustainable supply of products is even more vital. We also know that in times of financial scarcity, people are forced to make tough choices - between food and other essentials, and period products. 



Your students should not be forced to make choices like this. 



We believe that universities simply have a greater responsibility to ensure that all students are fully supported during this difficult time. 



Periods don’t stop in a pandemic, or because you are in lockdown, or because you have run out of money. We implore you to listen to the needs of your students and provide adequate resources for those who need them.


Yours sincerely,



(Your Name)


***


Making your voice heard is bloody great. Find out more about our campaigns on: www.bloodygoodperiod.com / Twitter: @bloodygood__ / Instagram: @bloodygoodperiod / Facebook: Bloody Good Period



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