Voices is the Dorset Echo's weekly youth page - written for young people by young people aged 10 to 18 from across the country.

This week Charlotte says it's time to end period poverty.

Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, Britain has a serious poverty problem.

With our never-ending austerity and insufficient Universal Credit system, young people are not having their most basic needs met, and one of the biggest and most overlooked problems associated with this is period poverty.

Although many think this is a problem confined to poorer areas of the world, the fact is that one in 10 girls aged between 14 and 21 cannot afford menstrual products.

Although some shops like Tesco have opted out of the ‘tampon tax’, the vast majority of sanitary items are still overpriced due to the fact that they are classed as a ‘luxury item’.

Absurdly, this suggests that in the eyes of the UK government, menstrual items are not essential, and we can easily live our lives without them.

But, if that were truly the case, why have 49 per cent of all schoolgirls missed a day of school due to their period? Without these products, they are simply unable to function and, with the inflated prices of menstrual products, it is no wonder that few can afford them.

These young girls are missing out on their education and social development solely because of how their bodies are, and the worst part is that, in the UK’s case, this is completely preventable.

This is why the Red Box Project couldn’t come at a more crucial time.

Essentially, this scheme encourages the wider community to donate sanitary products to specific collection points. When these collection points are full, they are donated to local schools to ensure that young people do not have to feel disadvantaged or punished by the way their bodies are.

It aims for period poverty to not be a barrier to anybody’s education, development and future, and helps pave the way of a more equal and understanding society.

Frankly, period poverty has no place in todays society. If you see people collecting donations for the Red Box Project, donate and raise awareness so, one day, maybe all schools will be able to provide free sanitary products for young people.

If we can end it in Dorset, we can end it anywhere.

By Charlotte Colombo