South Staffordshire College student, Emma-Jade Curley, 17, has come up with an innovative and discreet way for female students to get access to free sanitary products while at college.

Period poverty is a very real challenge facing many girls in the UK, with one in 10 females between the ages of 14 and 21 in the UK have been unable to afford sanitary products, according to research by Plan International.

Emma is studying Art & Design at South Staffordshire College and raising awareness of the free sanitary resources at college was Emma’s first priority.

Emma’s idea of a ‘period card’ is a way of highlighting awareness to staff and students so that free sanity items can be given to females in a discreet way.

Female students can show this card without embarrassment to access valuable products such as free sanitary products and cramp pain medication at college to further reduce the stigma of asking a member of staff and avoid absences, ensuring their education is not affected.

Emma says: “A ‘condom’ card already exists. I thought it only right to create a period poverty card as well.

"By applying my design skills to produce a flash card using a flower that symbolizes fertility and the pink tone, denoting femininity it would mean that this could be used to discreetly communicate a need to the relevant staff.

"Using digital design software to create the overall composition, I then adjusted colour, used different text fonts and tones, until I was happy with the overarching design.”

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Chris Hopkins, Director of Faculty - Creative, IT, Access, Teacher Ed & HE says,

“This was an issue that was brought up in one of the colleges student rep meetings, and is very poignant given so many young girls and women are facing period poverty. We were able to flag up the colleges existing support opportunity to receive free emergency sanitary products, but clearly we needed to ensure more students knew this was available, but also accessible in a discreet way.

"Emma's design for a card that can be easily shown to our hub staff showed great awareness, and her design skills have created something that as a department we are really excited about and keen to share across our various campuses."

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