Survey reveals extent of period poverty in East Suffolk

east suffolk council

The extensive survey has been carried out by East Suffolk Council. - Credit: Archant

A survey carried out by East Suffolk Council has revealed the extent of period poverty in the area.

1,184 people took part in the survey and over 65pc surveyed missed school or work days due to periods, with over 81pc saying this was due to pain.

It also revealed that 56pc don’t feel comfortable talking to their male peers about their periods.

Over 42pc said they would not use sustainable sanitary products due to worries over them being too expensive, too much work and too uncomfortable.

Over 43pc said they have used sanitary items not fit for purpose, or for too long, because of the cost and almost 20pc have been in receipt of free sanitary items before.

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The survey was carried out as part of East Suffolk Council’s Period Poverty project, which was launched in 2018.

Through this project, the Council provides ‘PP boxes’ containing free sanitary products which are accessible via local hubs, across businesses, organisations and schools. 

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The aim of the project is to make sanitary products easily accessible to all East Suffolk residents regardless of their financial or personal circumstances.

Councillor Letitia Smith, cabinet member for communities, leisure and tourism, said: “Everyone is affected differently by periods and some of these impacts can be largely ‘invisible’ to others.

"As well as health issues, they can affect wellbeing in different ways and the ability to function normally in a range of situations and of course, they also come with a financial cost which is a struggle to some people.

“I want to thank everyone who took the time to take part in our survey as this has given us a better understanding of the impact periods can have on local levels and what support is needed for those who experience it.

“We will now be running a social media campaign based on the findings of the survey, so that we can ensure that people know where to access free sanitary products if needed and where to go if they need some help or advice on managing their periods.

"Alongside this, we will also be reaching out to more local businesses and organisations to encourage them to get involved in the Period Poverty project by becoming a hub to make free sanitary products even more accessible in our communities.” 

For more information about the Period Poverty project, including where to find free sanitary boxes, go to

Any businesses or organisations wanting to sign up as a hub should email

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