09 Mar

Period Poverty Showcase

On Tuesday evening, the Lower Sixth staged a successful fundraising concert featuring some of our most talented musicians, dancers and actresses to combat the hidden problem of ‘Period Poverty.’ Boys from King Edward’s School also took part in the event at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre. The diverse performances included a mesmerising modern dance by Aishani Ghosh, who has also trained with the Royal Ballet, Lydia Jin’s rendition of her own song ‘Rain’, poetry by Catherine and Shivanii, musical offerings from the KEHS Chamber orchestra, classical singer Rosy, and violinist Charlotte. The night raised £420, which equates to 600 packets of sanitary towels for two local charities, St Basil’s Birmingham and Birmingham Central Foodbank.

Organiser Zahra in the Lower Sixth commented: “I’m absolutely delighted at how everyone rallied round and gave amazing performances in aid of a great cause. Period Poverty is a hidden problem but it’s a huge issue in Birmingham because the number of homeless women on the streets is increasing rapidly, as is the number of families turning to food banks. Food donations are what people tend to give which means that women's needs for sanitary products often go unseen. One in ten girls in the UK are too poor to buy sanitary products and some girls even have days off school, simply because they can’t afford the necessary hygiene products to deal with the natural menstrual process. The fact that 19% of girls have been forced to use unsuitable alternatives like old socks or rags is awful, especially in a major city like Birmingham. Women are regularly being denied the fundamental human right to hygiene and sanitation - which is why this project is so important.”

The girls have already collected over 3,000 packs of sanitary products but the final total is expected to run into the tens of thousands. Mrs Clark also commented, “I’m so proud of our group of Sixth Formers who have tackled this hidden problem with such energy and imagination. Their concert was a triumph and they worked amazingly hard to make it happen, despite it being postponed because of last week’s heavy snow. They’ve collected a vast number of products too and everyone has been extremely generous with their donations. I know the whole project will help to raise much-needed awareness of ‘Period Poverty’ which blights the lives of some of the poorest and most deprived women and girls in Birmingham.”