St John has announced a new partnership with Dignity NZ today, helping to provide sanitary products to female students at eight high schools across the South Island.
Dignity NZ has a mission to provide access to free sanitary items for all women in New Zealand and have also partnered with Organic Initiative, a New Zealand sanitary item company.
St John South Island Community Programmes Manager Suzy Mitchell says that the partnership is a natural fit with existing programmes building resilience, creating equitable access and improving health outcomes in young people through ASB St John in Schools and St John Youth.
“We are providing a buy one, gift one, programme with bought items going to ambulance stations, and gifted items to South Island schools. If the station’s staff feel they don’t have a need then they are also gifted to local schools or women’s refuge,” Ms Mitchell says.
Jacinta Gulasekharam and Miranda Hitching, who co-founded Dignity NZ, said they are delighted to see St John taking such progressive action towards supporting women.
“Their commitment to the community goes above and beyond as demonstrated by this initiative. The choice to be a progressive employer and acknowledge periods makes them a leader in the employee wellbeing space.
“As well as supporting their own staff, St John will be supporting 1700 girls to have access to sanitary items in eight schools across the South Island, which will have a significant impact on those students’ wellbeing and their dignity.”
The eight schools benefitting from this initiative are: Aurora College (Invercargill), Linwood College (Christchurch), Greymouth High School, Kaikoura High School, Mairehau High School (Christchurch), Hillmorton High School (Christchurch), Tokomairiro High School (Clutha) and Catholic Cathedral College (Christchurch).
Kaikoura High School Assistant Principal, Gayle Cameron says while it is sad that such initiatives are necessary, the proactive steps taken by Dignity NZ and St John are incredibly important to student welfare.
“There are members of our Kaikoura community that are still struggling financially following the earthquake and any help with essentials such as sanitary products for our girls will be very much appreciated,” Ms Cameron says.