A NEW initiative to combat period poverty was launched with the help of donations from four county councillors.

Cllr Richard Udall, Cllr Ceri Stalker, Cllr Pat Agar and Cllr Paul Denham have donated £400 to contribute to the Red Box campaign, which has been used to make six red collection boxes.

Worcester Community Trust launched the initiative to provide sanitary products for women and girls who cannot afford them across the city.

The boxes have been distributed to King Georges Community Centre, Brickfields, Horizon Community Centre, Ronkswood, as well as The Green Centre, Dines Green, The Tolly Centre, Tolladine and the Warndon Youth and Community Centre.

Worcester Valkyries rugby players helped with the launch at their match against Bristol Bears at Sixways Stadium, on Saturday, October 27.

Cllr Richard Udall said: “We know a serious problem exists in Worcester with period poverty, many girls and women simply can’t afford the costs of sanitary products, some are too embarrassed to ask for help.

“We hope the Red Box scheme will help to reduce both the problem and the stigma. I welcome the support of Worcester Valkyries and we thank the team for their help.”

Roy Davies, Valkyries head coach, said: “This is a cause that a lot of our players are passionate about, and it was a privilege to be asked to support the council in launching the project in Worcestershire. It’s unfair to think that there are any barriers in the way of them achieving their goals when compared to their male peers, so when asked to help support this campaign we were only too happy to get involved.

“We are very aware of how many exceptional young women Worcestershire produces, so if we can help remove some of the barriers to them achieving their goals then that will be fantastic.”

Valkyries also had a collection bin at Sixways so spectators could donate sanitary products to the scheme.

Earlier this year, a motion was proposed at Worcestershire County Council to help girls who cannot afford tampons or pads. However, the plan was voted down by councillors, with the Conservative group saying there was a lack of data to show costs of products was affecting girls attending school.

Read more on the council's proposal.