A NEW charity is aiming to help the estimated 20,000 women and girls in Bolton who struggle to cope with the cost of buying essential sanitary products every month.

Called Fresh as a Daisy Bolton, it has been set up to help disadvantaged females by providing them with the items they desperately need but have to live without.

The charity’s vice chairman, Dave Bagley, said it was ‘fundamentally wrong’ that tampons and sanitary towels had been classed as luxury products.

He said: “They are a complete necessity but have become an expense some women just can’t afford.

“We know there are women and girls who, for one reason or another, have to cope with nothing. They’ll perhaps pack their knickers with paper or just stain their clothes.

“There are girls missing school as a result or relying on teachers to help. And women with little or no incomes have to choose between buying food or tampons.”

Fresh as a Daisy Bolton will distribute packs containing essential period products to women and girls who do not have access to them, or cannot afford to buy them.

The charity was set up in memory of former Bolton Council worker Gillian Hughes MBE, who worked tirelessly to support vulnerable women in the town up to her death in 2014.

It is appealing for help from the public to fill the packs, in order to reach as many women as possible.

Products required include tampons, sanitary pads, disposable sanitary bags, tissues, roll-on deodorant, anti-bacterial hand gel, shower gel, lip balm, and chocolate bars.

These items can be dropped off at any of the Urban Outreach Grub Tub venues, which include most churches and community centres, as well as some supermarkets.

The charity is also keen to encourage people to set up their own drop off points in the community to help raise awareness of the issue.

Mr Bagley added: “The more we talk about this hopefully less will go without. It’s a huge undertaking but we need to achieve it. It is the unsaid poverty and we must try to change that.”

To set up a drop-off point in your community, email freshdaisybolton@gmail.com or send a message to the Fresh as a Daisy Bolton Facebook page.