09 Mar Have you heard of Period Poverty?
We’ve teamed up with Hey Girls to provide our residents with free sanitary products and an education on the reality that is Period Poverty throughout March. With over 7 million donations to girls and women in need, Hey Girls are on a mission to end Period Poverty and the taboo and stigma around menstruation.
Keep reading to find out more about Hey Girls and their journey so far.
Hey Girls – the social enterprise fighting period poverty from East Lothian
Period Poverty is real, and it’s happening right now. One in ten girls in the UK have struggled to afford period products. 49% of them have missed an entire day of school because of their period. 1 in 4 women don’t understand their menstrual cycle. These are pretty shocking statistics. Here at Hey Girls, we don’t believe anyone should be held back by their period.
Back in late 2017, Celia Hodson along with her two daughters, Kate and Becky, were shocked to find out that Period Poverty was still such a prevalent issue in modern Britain. From this realisation, Hey Girls was founded in early 2018 with the aim of eradicating period poverty for good.
The social enterprise works on a buy one give one model, selling high quality, plastic free period products across the UK. With every product bought, the same is matched and donated to those who need them most. Providing food banks, homeless shelters, women’s centres and community spaces with high quality period products means that the inequality of Period Poverty starts to lift.
The company believes in practicing what they preach, which is why every aspect of the business has a conscientious theory behind it. All packaging is made from recycled materials, subscription services are provided by fellow social entrepreneurs, and warehouse jobs being fulfilled by local mums looking to get back into work with flexible working to accommodate childcare requirements.
Hey Girls also run a Period Dignity campaign, encouraging businesses of all sizes to support their staff by providing free products in their toilets. Research has found that women who have been caught short in their workplaces are left feeling anxious and embarrassed, sometimes even forcing them to leave and go home. Women across the country are still stuffing tampons up their sleeves, spending their lunch hour frantically looking for the nearest corner shop, or keeping their legs achingly crossed to save the office furniture from a mother-nature-makeover.
Periods will affect roughly half the population at for a significant portion of their working lives. And yet, they’re almost never talked about. An office wouldn’t allow staff to go without pens, paper, or loo roll… So why don’t we provide period products?
As of 2020, Hey Girls has donated over 7 million products across the country, and shows no sign of slowing.
In 2018, the Scottish Government became world leaders introducing a funding stream to allow schools and colleges to provide free period products in washrooms for pupils. This funding was expanded the following year to include public spaces from libraries to leisure and community centres. This year, we have witnessed period history, with the introduction of the Free Period Products Bill, which would implement legislation to provide free access to period products across the Scotland.
Hey Girls founder Celia Hodson said: “That period poverty exists in the UK is completely unacceptable. Whilst investment from the Scottish Government, and as of 2020 the UK and Welsh Governments, have made great steps towards supporting the menstruating population, it is not a long term fix. Until we can talk openly and honestly about women’s health, recognise period products not as a commodity but as a necessity and make free access to period products the norm, then we can say our job is done.”
To find out more about Hey Girls visit www.heygirls.co.uk