PERIOD POVERTY IS an important social issue which has only been heightened by the pandemic.

A 2020 survey by Plan International found that three in 10 girls in the UK had struggled to afford or access period products during the lockdown.

Of those, 54% said they had to use toilet paper as an alternative, the charity said.

A separate survey by WaterAid found more than half of menstruating women (55%) in the UK had experienced increased challenges managing their periods under lockdown

To help end period poverty, a number of supermarkets have launched schemes and campaigns to help make sanitary products more accessible to those in need.

Recently, Morrisons launched the ‘Ask for Sandy’ campaign where customers in need can now go to any Morrisons customer service desk nationwide and ask for a package for 'Sandy' or a 'period product pack'.

Now, a few select Tesco branches have launched their own scheme- including the Tesco on Mill Wood Drive in Worcester.

Angie Tune, Tesco community champion for the Worcester team started the ‘white envelope’ scheme last Friday (29 May).

Worcester News: (Photo: Angie Tune)(Photo: Angie Tune)

When you ask for ‘the white envelope’ an envelope containing two sanitary products will be handed over- no questions asked.

Angie said: “We don’t mind what age you are or who you are- just come and ask for the white envelope and we will freely give them."

54-year-old Tune wanted to introduce the scheme in stores after interacting with people in the local community and realizing how prevalent period poverty was in the area.

Worcester News: The White Envelope scheme is a discreet serviceThe White Envelope scheme is a discreet service

She explained: “I am passionate about helping people and making sure teenagers and other people who are struggling to get sanitary products are actually able to get hold of some.

 “Unfortunately, there are people who can’t afford to buy these products- even those that are ‘cheap’. ”

Currently, the event is exclusive and isn’t running in every Tesco in the country.

Angie said: “It’s only running in a select few stores and only a handful of community champions at the moment who are doing something to help end period poverty.”

Worcester News: A sign in the Tesco storeA sign in the Tesco store

Angie noted that the people of Worcester have already been incredibly generous, donating sanitary products to be used in the white enveloped scheme.

Ms Tune said: “Loads of customer have been donating sanitary products already- it’s become a bit of a community scheme.”

If you would like to donate, contact Angie or hand in the products at the customer service desk at the Warndon branch.