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Charity receives donation to help prevent period poverty in Leicester

The menstrual cups mean women won't have to buy sanitary products for a decade.

Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan and Julie Colan

One-hundred menstrual cups have been donated to help prevent period poverty in Leicester this month after the benefactor heard that the city is one of the most affected in the UK from a local charity boss.

The donation has been given to a charity that supports those living in poverty or as victims of domestic abuse, particularly women and girls.

The Leicester-based Zinthiya Trust, run by Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan, is always on the look out for new ways to help families, whether it's through providing school uniforms, low-cost products, accommodation, or even financial advice.

Research showed percentages of how many women and girls are unable to afford menstrual products in the UK. Leicester ranked fifth highest city with 35% according to a 2019 report by Ginger Comms, and campaigners the Bloody Big Brunch and Hey Girls.

Zinthiya has since been ramping up her charitable activities to help raise awareness about period poverty in Leicester and ensure every menstruating person has access to sanitary products. Her efforts led her to meet the generous benefactor at an awards ceremony.

The menstrual cups were donated by Julie Colan, who invented pelvic floor kit Secret Whispers.

The businesswoman launched the CupIT menstrual kit at the beginning of the year. Each cup lasts for ten years meaning users won't have to worry about buying sanitary products for a whole decade.

When asked by a BBC Radio Leicester presenter how she felt about the Leicester statistics, she said: "I was absolutely shocked and like I say, you don't expect it to be on your own doorstep, and to see the huge statistics in Leicestershire alone, you just have to do something to help.

"To think that women and young girls are missing school, not able to go to work, having to use makeshift sanitary wear, using toilet roll, it's just outrageous really that it's happening in this day and age."

When discussing an incident where sanitary products were allegedly mistaken as a non-essential product by a store during the pandemic, she went on to tell BBC Radio Leicester: "...Periods are not a luxury...and every woman should have the right to be able to access sanitary wear for free."


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