Listening to children and young people’s experiences of health and care

Dudley’s Young Health Champions are young people between the ages of 11 and 25, who are using their skills, talents and networks to deliver health and wellbeing messages across the borough and beyond.

We supported Lauren, a 24 year old Dudley Young Health Champion to launch her campaign to help young women who are not able to afford sanitary products.

“My name is Lauren, I’m 24 and I started volunteering with the Dudley Young Health Champions Project last year. I am now part of the project steering group and getting involved has really improved my mental health as I had previously been in an abusive relationship.

I knew about period poverty but didn’t realise how much of an issue it really is. It was shocking for me to hear that children often miss school because they can’t afford sanitary products so I wanted to do something about it. I had an idea to make up packs that include tampons and towels, wipes, sanitiser, pants and tights. We are now looking to distribute our packs in different places, from family centres to schools to make sure that people who are really in need can get them.

In each pack I am also writing a positive quote, such as ‘be who you are, not what people perceive you to be’, along with sweets because girls get the munchies around their periods. We launched the campaign at a really big event that was hosted by local housing association CHADD, where I spoke in front of 150 people. I hadn’t done anything like that before so it was really good for my confidence.

I’ve got lots more ideas to promote our campaign and will be getting in touch with craft groups to ask for donations of draw-string bags and I am planning a roadshow as CHADD have donated a big red wheelie bin which we can take round shopping centres to collect donations and raise awareness. It might be a difficult subject to talk about but the impact of this project could make a really positive difference to the mental health of other young people.”

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