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Period Poverty Initiatives

Period Poverty Initiatives in UCD

Read about UCD's initiatives to address period poverty below, including the Homeless Period Ireland Initiative and the End Period Poverty Initiative.

The Homeless Period Initiative 

Working with Homeless Period Ireland

UCD’s community of staff and students has supported the Homeless Period Ireland initiative since March 2018, when donation points were initiated.  Since then, a large number of regular donations and special collection drives (2,300 packets and counting) have taken place, and visibility, awareness campaigns and discussions in classrooms have taken place.  

Staff and students can get involved in a number of ways, and we have some of these listed below.  Please contact Mary in University Secretariat for further information or with ideas: m.gallagher@ucd.ie / extension 1291.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information on this great initiative. We wish to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to our colleagues across campus who have facilitated donation points in their respective buildings (see locations below).

How Can I Help?

Thanks for asking!  Staff and students can get involved in a number of ways

  • Host a donation point for an event or milestone and highlight it beforehand (purple box  and posters provided). Thanks to colleagues across campus for doing this, and also to Mature Student Soc and DramSoc for running student-led collection drives.
  • Host a regular donation point (purple box and posters provided) in your building
  • Present or Feature some statistics on period poverty before (student) or during (staff) a lecture - we have slides if you are interested in doing this
  • Consider partnering with Homeless Period Ireland to do some research on this area in Ireland, global trends, good practice, etc.
  • Become a volunteer driver to transport donations from collection points to the service providers and charities that distribute them.

Contact Mary Gallagher-Cooke for more information - m.gallagher@ucd.ie / extension 1291.

Current Locations

We have purple boxes at our static donation points.

(Why purple boxes?  Purple is the suffragette colour of dignity, and this was our inspiration.)

The current locations of donation points are as follows:

  • Gerard Manley Hopkins Building: Global Lounge - beside reception, Lower Ground Floor, UCD International
  • Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington Building: Entrance hall under room numbers
  • James Joyce Library/ UCD Access: Outside, beside book swap shelves
  • Newman Building: Corridor of D1 (outside office D110)
  • Newstead Building: (Block A beside the post department) International Study Centre, Student's Committee
  • O' Brien Centre for Science: Ground floor of the Hub, beside post box
  • Roebuck Office Building: Entrance hall
  • School of Computer Science: Ground floor, on the right
  • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems: B106, B331
  • Student's Union
  • Tierney building: 1st floor book swap shelf area

Background to UCD’s involvement

On International Women's Day 2018, Mary Gallagher-Cooke, UCD College of Social Sciences and Law, announced that UCD hopes to create numerous donation points around campus in which employees and students can donate menstrual products to women of Inner City Helping Homeless and other charities that distribute menstrual products, as part of the Homeless Period Ireland initiative. This initiative aims to help women experiencing period poverty and believes that tampons and towels should be made available to all women.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, with colleagues from buildings all over campus volunteering to facilitate donation points in their respective buildings. In its first year in UCD, 11 static points have been established with over 1,500 donations received from the UCD community. These have been distributed to women’s refuges, homeless services, Direct Provision centres and addiction treatment centres.

End Period Poverty Initiative

The “End Period Poverty” initiative in University College Dublin has now been extended into the UCD James Joyce Library, ensuring it is the largest academic library in the country to provide free sanitary products to students.

Following an earlier successful rollout of this service in the UCD Students’ Union building, the Library, the Dean of Students and the UCDSU worked together to make free sanitary products available to even more students by placing dispensers in the women’s, men’s and unisex/disabled toilets in the Library and other campus locations.

Speaking about this launch, Lorna Dodd, Associate Librarian said “The Library plays a pivotal role in everyday student life and we are committed to student well-being. The Library is the ideal location for this service as it has the longest opening hours on campus and is accessible to all UCD students. We are delighted to work with the UCDSU on this initiative“

Promotional materials include a QR code linking to a web page which includes information on the locations of where free sanitary products are available, making it as easy as possible for people to avail of this service. 

For a full list of dispenser locations see: https://www.ucdsu.ie/free-period-products

Contact UCD in the Community

Room E0.56, UCD O' Brien Centre for Science (East), University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 2268 | E: ucdic@ucd.ie