As their website says, the Red Box Project quietly ensures that no young person misses school because they have their period.
Having started in Portsmouth, it is now a growing project nationwide, with supermarkets, and other venues, providing collection points for sanitary products, wipes, knickers and tights. These are then distributed by the coordinators to red plastic boxes in schools. Signs on the back of toilet doors say where to ask for the red box and put what you need in a paper bag to walk away with – it is designed for those having accidents, so they can sort themselves out and go back into class, or to supply sanitary protection for the length of their period if they have nothing at home. So far they concentrate on schools, but might expand to reach adults via food banks etc. Roxanne is also keen to supply red rucksacks for a group of guides going on a camping trip, as these will be a more practical and sturdy way of carrying the same products.
The main issue is the level of need, which is far higher than anyone would think. About 10 extra boxes are introduced to new school locations daily. Whilst the groundswell of support provides the stock to keep the boxes filled, they always need knickers, for age 8-12 and size 8-20, and cash to buy more boxes. Social media has been a great way of spreading the word about the project.