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Periods don’t stop for pandemics: Councillors campaign for free sanitary products in Council buildings

Three councillors are on a mission to have free sanitary products for women available at council buildings across the borough.

Ulster Unionist trio, Louise McKinstry, Julie Flaherty and Jill Macauley have been tackling the issue of period poverty for some time, but the recent pandemic has highlighted the issue further.

The initiative is the culmination of a campaign kick-started by councillor, Louise McKinstry.

“In Leisure committee in November, I raised the issue of period poverty, supported by Portadown Councillor Julie Flaherty, to provide free sanitary products in council buildings,” she said.

“Now we are in this pandemic, this will still be very much an issue for many people.

“Our Banbridge party colleague, councillor Jill Macauley, sent some supplies to the J29 project last Wednesday.

“Afterwards, Jill posted on Facebook about her visit to the J29 unit in Banbridge, with the strapline ‘Periods don’t stop for pandemics’ and the response has been phenomenal.

“We have had donations of money, packs of products and words of encouragement. We have also had several people getting in touch to ask for help.

“Many are shielding or isolating and can’t get out to buy their own shopping.

“The response from community groups has been amazing, but these items are rarely found in foodbank parcels, so there is a real need.”

Councillor McKinstry is encouraging the local community to get behind this worthy initiative.

People can either get in touch with any of these three councillors via Facebook, or they can send donations directly to the J29 project beside the IMC cinema and old courthouse.

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