Pictured: Jennifer Treadwell, Vice President NCISU and Professor Jimmy Hill, Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, National College of Ireland.
Launched on the 1st February 2022, and named in honour of the saint/goddess whose feast day it is, Brigit's Basket is a joint initiative at National College of Ireland, where NCI Students' Union and college management have collaborated to make period products available for free to staff and students.
NCISU began providing baskets of free period products in student toilets last September. Jennifer Treadwell, Vice President of NCISU, brought this project to the attention of NCI's EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Team at the College just before Christmas, where it met with enthusiasm.
"I returned to college in the New Year to hear that NCI would work with NCISU to expand and embed the service, and this very quickly became a reality. I am proud that NCISU and NCI are working together on this initiative and look forward to future collaborations across the NCI community, making things better for staff and students," said Treadwell. “None of us designed the human body this way; it just is how it is. Periods are not a choice, so I have always believed that people who get periods should receive the essential products they need for free. No one should have to worry about being unable to afford products that are a basic hygiene requirement, as well as ultimately protecting your dignity and wellbeing,"
Sourced via Irish company, weareriley.com, who prioritise ethical production and eco-friendly sustainability, pads and tampons are distributed throughout the campus, in all ladies' and gender neutral toilets and in one men's toilet, to be as inclusive as possible to all girls, women, Trans men, non-binary and gender fluid people, who might find themselves in need.
Treadwell explains: "The historical figure of Brigit defied the gender expectations of her day and became associated in the minds of the people with the mythological triple deity Brigit - both are associated with reproductive health. When we were discussing a potential name for this initiative, we came across the story of Brigit receiving the gift of a basket of apples and immediately sharing them with those in greater need. The name Brigit's Basket just fit perfectly!"
NCI President Gina Quin, NCISU President Conor O'Reilly, Joyce Lloyd (Facilities), Brian Kehoe (Graphic Design), Deirdre McCarthy (EDI Manager), Dave O'Brien (Facilities) Deirdre Giblin (Director of Development & External Engagement) at the launch of Brigit's Basket
5 Period Facts (via UNICEF)
- Approximately 26% of the global population menstruates.
- Most will require sanitary products for 2-6 days each month.
- Over a lifetime, this can add up to 7 years' menstruation.
- Poor menstrual hygiene can pose physical health risks and lead to urogenital disease.
- It is important that everyone understands periods, even if they will never have one themselves: menstruation is just a fact of life and should not be taboo.