Homelessness in Liverpool is an issue that is apparent to locals and has been for some time, but few would recognise that basic essential toiletries are in desperately short supply for female rough sleepers.
The Homeless Period Liverpool is a campaign to provide vulnerable women on the streets across the city with sanitary items.
Natalie Denny, a volunteer for the group, told JMU Journalism: “I think there’s misinformation about what support homeless people can get. There are many great people in Liverpool, but the attitudes towards homeless people can be very negative.
“I believe there’s a stigma around homelessness and many believe it’s a lifestyle choice rather than these people being victims of circumstances, such as mental health, addiction, poverty and little government help, things like that.”
Starting with an idea to help the people on the streets, The Homeless Period group has been in operation for six months and now consists of 20 volunteers.
YouTube: The Homeless Period
They have so far managed to give out over 200 sanitary care packs, including sanitary pads, tampons, two pairs of knickers, wipes, tissues and chocolates/sweets.
Natalie, 29, said: “With the austerity measures we will see many more people on the streets. More awareness does need to be raised but also lobbying and campaigning to support bills such as the Crisis Homeless Reduction Bill.
“I support many of the street teams and, while they do an excellent job, it can be a sticking plaster solution. We need to make changes to government in order to help these people properly and make sure that no matter what the circumstances being on the street is not an option.”
Sanitary items for women are classed as a ‘luxury’ and in March 2016, former Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to get rid of the 5% tax on the products.