What is the GAPP Initiative?

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The GAPP Initiative is a new initiative, which we are in the early stages of setting up at St Thomas Church here in Ellesmere Port. 

In the UK, over the past few years there has been a growing awareness that 'Period Poverty' is an alarming reality for many women. Not only do the homeless and refugees struggle with this issue, but so can young mums and teenage girls from low income households. Access to safe sanitary products should be a basic human right.  Increasingly, however, since the economic crisis, and austerity measures more and more women are finding this 'human right' not being met and may be in need of additional support.


At St Thomas Church we are committed to trying to help tackle Period Poverty and the potential impact it can have within our community, particularly for young mums and teenage girls. We feel challenged into trying to gain as much support as possible and to building awareness from within our wider community.


Through our ‘GAPP Initiative’, we aim to make available regular supplies of sanitary products, to those who may be in need of this sort of help in our community (basically we want to make a free provision of sanitary products available). Our hope initially, is that this be made possible and facilitated through a variety of avenues, including: the three High Schools, and The Community Hub in Ellesmere Port.

We have already started making a supply of sanitary products available for distribution through The Community Hub. They work with partner organisations & charities whose aim is to support a variety of needs within
our community, including: the Women's Refuge, the homeless and refugees.  More recently they have also taken one of our GAPP Initiative Boxes to use both as a donation collection point and as a distribution point. 


We hope to make this Initiative possible by way of regular donations of sanitary products made through a number of donation collection points, (operating in a similar way as the Food Bank). Initially we had only been operating this from within St Thomas Church, through either donations of sanitary products or of money enabling us to purchase the products. 

 

In addition, we have a growing number of donation collection points (for sanitary products) across Ellesmere Port (for an up to date list of locations click here). We also continue to explore the possibility of placing donation collection points at further locations in our wider community. 


We are hoping that through the three High Schools (subject to agreement) we may be able to provide sanitary products to teenage girls whose families may be in need of additional support, which may hopefully lessen the potential impact period poverty can have on their education.

We are also aware that many groups, charities, organisations and petitions across the UK which have already been coming together and making much progress in trying to tackle 'period poverty'.

So our aim is to support our local community, specifically (initially) for young mums and teenage school girls.  

 

 

Much has been achieved in some communities across the UK, with many starting to get the support needed.  This, however, is a short-term solution to a long-term problem so we need the UK Parliament to take action now to provide free sanitary products to schoolgirls on free school meals. 

 

Please write to your local MP to request the UK Parliament to act now to end Period Poverty using our template letter.

 

Thank you again for supporting our Initiative with your donations and helping us to build awareness around the issue of Period poverty.


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