A shopping centre is joining the battle against local period poverty by giving away free, discreet packages of menstrual products.

The products will be available at The Mall from the ‘ask me point’, where anyone can say they are collecting a parcel for Florence and staff will give them products in a generic bag.

General manager at The Mall Blackburn, Loraine Jones said: “While we are delighted to be offering this free service, the fact that it needs to exist is heart-breaking.

“These products are basic necessities that everyone should have access to and we want to help as many women and young girls as we can.

“I would urge anyone who finds themselves unable to access period products to come to the Ask Me Point and say they are collecting a package for Florence.

“Our team is ready and waiting to help and people can come back as many times as they need to.”

It is estimated that over 137,000 children across the UK have missed school days due to period poverty and one in ten cannot afford to buy what they need to manage their period.

The problem also extends into the older age groups living in areas of deprivation across Lancashire and beyond.

The Mall’s Ask Me Point can be found in Victoria Court and is located across from Pandora, KFC, Shoe Zone and Ryman.