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Q&A: My Newham - period poverty campaigner Becky Dawson

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 July 2018

Archant

Giving young people the best start in life is massively important for Becky Dawson. She speaks about her quest to end period poverty

What’s your connection with the borough?

I work for HeadStart Newham which is a mental health service working closely with schools and the community to transform how young people and their families are supported to stay emotionally healthy.

More recently I have become a Red Box co-ordinator for Newham which means I am working with the lovely Saima Mian and Hiwot Ameneshoa to put red boxes in local schools.

These are filled with donated sanitary products and supplied to schools for young women who can’t afford sanitary products, which often can mean that they miss school or find themselves in difficult situations as a result.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

I love working with schools.

There are so many members of staff who really care about the young people they are supporting and I have also had the privilege of working with some fantastic young people — bright, engaging and exciting.

What one thing would you change?

That no one has to miss school because of period poverty.

Use three words to describe the area.

Vibrant, diverse, caring.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

I taught a young lady with cerebral palsy who was confined to a wheelchair and had limited communication skills.

She inspired me because she never gave up, she worked extremely hard and against all odds she is now working as an admin support assistant for a local charity.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

That all schools are funded to provide free sanitary products to their pupils.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

I would definitely focus on the brilliant things the young people in the borough do on a daily basis, sometimes in school, often outside.

They are creative, they give up their time volunteering or are vital members of their family, and often we only hear the negative.

I am also hugely impressed by all the community groups out there giving our young people vital support, in the youth zones, in extra curricular activities — if I was editor I would make sure everyone would know what was going on.

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