“Ew, dirty, you’re on your period, I don’t want to hear that”, a phrase I recall hearing after getting my period at school. I hadn’t expected my period, the toilets had no tampons or sanitary pads available, so I had no choice but to fashion a pad out of toilet roll, quietly walk back to class, ask my teacher what I was supposed to do, and another student overheard. Now the whole class knew, and 4 more teachers had to be asked before someone was able to give me a sanitary pad; I found myself feeling embarrassed for a natural occurrence I had no control over.
I have no doubt many people who menstruate have had similar experiences and although it’s been a few years since I attended school, and some progression has been made, these experiences still occur.
Stigma and myths still plague the world’s knowledge of periods, and for an estimated 1 in 10 people who menstruate, this is coupled with the lack of easy and discreet access to essential products which support us with our period health. Education/employment, mental health, physical health, and hygiene are all impacted by this lack of availability.
Hey Girls are an amazing organisation who are working hard to eradicate period poverty, improve access to period products and increase education and knowledge around period health.
Hey Girls provide period products such as sanitary pads, tampons, and period pants to those who struggle to access these on a day-to-day basis. The products are responsibly sourced and made from sustainable materials. Alongside this, their website has a range of resources available to develop the understanding of periods and answer questions for those who experience periods, parents (including information leaflets specifically made for dads and boys) schools and more. Please visit their website https://www.heygirls.co.uk/, to learn more about their story and the extraordinary work they do.
Fresh Start, Project 6, are proud to be a community partner, of Hey Girls; standing together to provide free period products to our clients who menstruate. The period products will be made easily accessible throughout our building on Abbeydale Road, Sheffield. Leaflets will also be displayed to make people aware that these great quality period products are available.
People who menstruate have a right to access quality period products in a safe place without shame or stigma attached, period.