A mum-of-two has been crowned Rossendale Woman of the Year for the work she's done in helping to provide free sanitary products to women in her borough.

Samara Barnes, 37, was awarded the title at a ceremony held by Rossendale Hospice on March 29.

Ms Barnes, who lives in Haslingden, set up the Rossendale branch of the Red Box Project in 2018, after hearing a podcast about period poverty.

The project, a national community-based, not-for-profit initiative, aims to support young people throughout their periods by providing red boxes filled with free period products to local schools.

And since its introduction in Rossendale, the number of donation points has rapidly grown, and there are now boxes in 55 locations in and around the borough where females can access sanitary products.

Writing on the Red Box Rossendale Facebook page after being given the award, Ms Barnes said: "The award really belongs to the Rossendale community who really make the project happen.

So to all my lovely volunteers, all our donators and supporters and of course the schools and teachers in our borough, this is for you."

Ms Barnes, who works in management for Barnardo's praised the courses she studied at Accrington and Rossendale College for giving her the confidence, skills and opportunities to be successful with rolling out the project.

She added: "I’m still a bit overwhelmed with the award and surprised that five different people took the time to nominate me for the accolade.

"Some of the modules I learned at the college have been crucial to helping get the Red Box Project established in the area so quickly, and to get the community on board.

"Other modules in social policy really encouraged me to join in with the lobby of the government to campaign to end ‘period poverty’ in schools.

"In the Spring statement the government has pledged to fund a scheme to make free sanitary products available in secondary schools but the campaign will continue to extend it to primary schools."

For more information on Red Box Project donation locations in your area, head to redboxproject.org/locations/