Our weekly Make it Mine session this morning, and I ponder the fact that no one may turn up today as we had to cancel last week’s session. Questions around promoting the space better fill my mind as I get dressed. After the anxiety of thinking I’d lost the community centre key, I’m in nice and early for when the first person arrives, then the second and the third, and before I know it, we are extending the tables to accommodate more people.  

I remind myself that I should doubt myself less as 15 women of different ages and circumstances chat and create in this beautiful intergenerational space. I get the luxury of pushing a pram round for half an hour to get one of our youngest members to sleep, and I’m feeling extremely grateful this is a perk of the job! 

 Halfway through the session, a man walks in; after a bit of amusement, he lets us know he’s here to empty the sanitary bins. Unfortunately, we can’t find any.  

After the session, I text to let the community centre know we couldn’t find them and am told they were removed a couple of weeks ago. This is now the second community space we use that doesn’t provide sanitary waste bins, and I feel short changed as a woman. I’m left with questions, as yet unanswered, about why these decisions are being made. With so many well-publicised arguments around the decline of or the need for women’s spaces and here we are without the basic needs of women being met. It’s not good enough, is it? Why are community spaces deeming it a non-essential, a choice, because it’s not.  

No one should have to walk around with a used sanitary pad; it could put people off coming back; we’ve costed them up. It’s something like £100 a year, so not even expensive in the grand scheme of things. Women deserve better!