Fighting period poverty locally

This World Menstrual Hygiene Day Pippa tells us what she’s been doing to fight period poverty in her area.

Pippa, advocate panel
28 May 2019

I was inspired by Girlguiding’s End Period Poverty badge and campaign and by a product collection in a local supermarket with a Rangers unit.

So I applied to my county council for a grant and received £1,400 to fight period poverty in secondary schools in my area!

This campaign has been something I wanted to take action on, having heard my own peers were unable to afford period products, or felt unable to ask for what they needed due to the surrounding stigma. It is also something that I have felt close to as I am the same age and have connections with the young people that period poverty and stigma effects.

Starting with my old school

After the period product collection, I wrote to my old secondary school and set up a link with them. We donated 1,460 products, along with some suggestions as to how to ensure they reached those who needed them. This included having a box that would be accessible to all students all the time. Or having five designated period poverty representatives that the students felt able to talk to when needed. I suggested to the schools that they take the approach that would best suit them. Although this was an amazing amount of products to donate, we provisionally planned further collections that would allow us to continue to support pupils.

Going county wide

When people found out about our work, they loved it. They were keen to know if it would continue and if we could help other schools and services around us. It was great to see so much enthusiasm. I came up with a plan on how to do this and applied to Gloucestershire County Council’s Period Poverty Fund. I am not sure I fully expected to be given the grant, and definitely not the amazing sum that we received!

I’m working with the Rangers unit to plan how we will spend it and how we will ensure the products reach those that need them. We are also exploring the donations in more detail, thinking about providing spare underwear or tights amongst the products.

With the exciting news of the government providing free period products to schools from September, we are hoping that we will be able to support our local schools with donations of products until then. And also continue our work around period stigma.

I am so pleased by the success of this project and cannot believe how one idea has turned into something so big and exciting! I hope that everyone everywhere can be inspired to take action about what they care about – however big or small that may be.

Pippa, 19

Pippa, 19 Pippa is a member of our Advocate panel

Our Advocates influence the direction of Girlguiding's advocacy and shape our research.

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