As the world marks International Women’s Day, West Ham United’s own women’s team have partnered with homelessness charity Caritas Anchor House to combat period poverty.
As part of The Players’ Project, Hammers players have donated sanitary products to help homeless female users of the Canning Town-based charity, which provides support and accommodation for some of Newham’s most vulnerable young people.
One in 25 people in Newham are homeless and the pressures of trying to stay safe, find food and maintain personal hygiene are only made worse when a homeless woman has her period.
Women experiencing homelessness are incredibly vulnerable, with many facing more than just a lack of stable housing. Some will be escaping domestic violence, and will live through social exclusion and the fear of abuse in unsafe environments.
With each period costing approximately £11 it has been reported that one in ten school girls in the UK are unable to afford sanitary products and forced to use unhygienic alternatives including socks or newspaper.
Period poverty can therefore heavily impact their daily lives and participation in sport and can also lead to social isolation.
The West Ham Women’s team recognise that some people do not have access to female hygiene products and also do not feel confident to speak to others about it or ask for help, which can cause a vicious cycle.
With the stigma surrounding such a sensitive subject making some women feel uncomfortable when it comes to asking for help, the Hammers and Caritas Anchor House are encouraging Hammers fans to support their local homelessness services and break down barriers to make it easier for them to ask for help when needed.
West Ham United are proud to support International Women’s Day 2019 and get behind the #BalanceforBetter campaign. For more information, visit www.internationalwomensday.com.