As a final year university project, I was editor of the news section of Voice of London; a site catering to news for young Londoners. As editor i was in charge of making sure we were producing short and long form content every day. I would also sub-edit the teams work fact checking and making sure it was in the right tone and style for consistency of the site. 
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Illustration by Hazel Mead for Bloody Good Period and allowed use for Voice of London

“Menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event: Men would brag about how long and how much. Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free.”

 

Written in 1986, Gloria Steinem’s essay, “If men could menstruate” is as relevant today as it was then. Tampons are still taxed as a “luxury item” and one in ten young women (aged 14-21) have been unable to afford period products. In London, this number is closer to one in seven, Plan International UK reported this year.

 

“Period poverty occurs when a person has to make a choice between food and sanitary items, between going to school or work and risking their menstrual fluid leaking because they can’t afford menstrual supplies,” Alice Walker-Mitchell from the charity Bloody Good Period told Voice of London. Girls in this situation often see their choice as missing school when on their period, or using socks, toilet roll and tissue in lieu of proper sanitary pads.

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Shetland island has started prescribing nature in conjunction with other treatments to their patients.

 

This news comes after a successful pilot at Scalloway GP surgery, the largest island within the Shetlands. The prescription will acknowledge that time spent in nature can help reduce anxiety and blood pressure and help improve happiness.

 

Dr Chloe Evans, GP at Scalloway Health Centre told Voice of London, “The project provides a structured way for patients to access nature as part of a non-drug approach to health problems.”

 

Whilst London GPs may not openly be prescribing ‘nature’ as a way to treat patients, Jean Paisley, a specialist case management pharmacist at NHS tells us, “the nature initiative is nothing new. It is well known that both exercise and sunlight can improve mood, so there is no reason why these methods can’t be put into practice in London.”

NHS England currently advertise “Social Prescribing,” which involves helping patients improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or a local charity.

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