The British woman behind the campaign to tackle period poverty

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LONDON Films can have a powerful impact on the way we view the world.

And, for Kate Milner, the impact of watching one movie made her want to take action. After watching I, Daniel Blake a 2016 Ken Loach film about the individual impact of social benefits cuts Milner decided to set up a project to tackle such issues she spotted in the film.

Milner who is a children’s volume illustrator from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, UK set up a social media campaign with the help of her 13 -year-old son. The aim? To get people donating hygienic products to food banks for those who couldn’t afford them.

Milner told Mashable that she was very put forward by one of the specific characteristics in the film Katie, a single mum who procures her advantages cut off after she gets lost on the way to the job centre.

Katie with Daniel Blake in ‘I, Daniel Blake’.


eOne Films

“She requests the food bank for sanitary towels, but they don’t have any to give her. Later in the movie she tries to steal them from a shop, ” Milner told Mashable .

Milner put up awareness-raising campaigns with women like Katie in mind, naming the project “A Bag for Katie”. She announces the movie made her should be considered how hard it must be for women who aren’t able to get hold of basic necessities.

“By the time I’d left the cinema I’d schemed a campaign to try and get people to donate these basic products to food banks so someone like Katie requirement never go without again, ” Milner said.

The campaign is questioning people to donate hygienic products like tampons and sanitary towels, as well as other essential toiletries like soap and shampoo. More than 500, 000 emergency food parcels were distributed to people in crisis between April and September 2017 by food banks run by the Trussell Trust virtually five times more than the number of parcels distributed in 2012.

Making the issue mainstream

Milner wasn’t the only one affected by Katie’s story in the movie. Campaigners lately joined powers with MPs to encourage Procter and Gamble one of the UK’s largest makers of hygienic products to donate hygienic products to homeless shelters across the country. Since then, the retailer Boots has announced the aviator of an in-store gift point to allow customers to donate hygienic products which will be distributed at a neighbourhood food bank. If the initial aviator goes well, the retailer will be discussing rolling out its own initiative across the country.

According to the Guardian, the film’s characterization of the “humiliating consequences of period poverty” brought “menstrual inequality into the mainstream for the first time”. Indeed, the film’s characterization of Katie motivated one journalist whose social benefits were cut to share their experience of date poverty. “I sat and watched with a heavy heart as she[ Katie] stole hygienic products from the supermarket, remembering going without, or folding up a clean sock, or balling up toilet tissue on the heaviest days, ” wrote journalist and activist Jack Monroe.

Basic dignity for all women

Milner was of the view that so far people ought to have “brilliant” and have set up collect bins in their agencies and universities for their neighbourhood food banks.

“I feel that it is a necessary and basic dignity for all women to be able to keep themselves clean and hygienic. Periods are not great at the best use of occasions but imagine not being able to get hold of these products. How could you go for a job interview? How could you talk to your child’s teacher, ” Milner told Mashable . “It’s Christmas and those of us who can should give to help those with less than “were having”, ” announces Milner.

People wanting to donate can use the food bank bins provided in supermarkets, or donate direct to the Trussell Trust a national system of food banks which is supporting the campaign. To find your nearest food bank, consult the Trussell Trust’s online map . To get involved with A Bag for Katie, visit the campaign’s Twitter account .

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