Period Equality for all!
At phs, we believe everyone should have access to the period products they need. Schools, colleges, universities, business and the public sector have a vital role to play in ending Period Poverty in the UK and phs Group are here to support with an extensive range of period products, guidance and support to ensure no-one misses out because of their period.
What is period poverty?
Period poverty effects a large proportion of the population, with 1 in 14 girls* saying they have missed schools as they could not afford or access sanitary products.
Many of us would rather avoid using the word ‘poverty’ in today’s society. However, in the UK, poverty is a real thing. Young girls and women in our communities are experiencing poverty as they are unable to afford basic products which are essential to their day-to-day lives, causing unnecessary discomfort and worry.
Our previous Period Equality Whitepaper (undertaken in the UK in 2019) suggested that the inability to access period products can have a detrimental impact on school attendance and academic achievement.
Since our whitepaper launched, significant progress has been made in the UK with schemes such as the DfE’s provision of period products to schools and colleges in England. However, there is still so much we can all do to raise awareness of this important issue and ensure girls and women are getting the products they need, when they need them.
In April 2021, we went back to 13 to 18-year-olds at school or college to ask them again about how their period affects their day-to-day lives, how it impacts their learning, whether period poverty is a real issue, what they think the barriers are to period equality, and what action they believe is now necessary to break them down.
The findings offer key insight not only in terms of the experiences of teenage girls during 2020-21 but also changes in period equality perceptions over the last two years since our last survey, the impact of the COVID pandemic, and how the period poverty landscape looks across the UK.
To help us understand the problem and how we can best support it, we undertook extensive research and produced the phs Period Equality Whitepaper.
Click here to download and read the Period Equality Whitepaper.
Making a difference
We were appointed to the UK Government’s official Period Poverty Taskforce with one common goal; eliminating period poverty. In partnership with Bloody Good Period, phs is leading one of just three workstreams tasked at improving access to period products for those who need it. We believe that bringing together our expertise, experience and resource will create a force to be reckoned with.
We also sit on the Welsh Government’s Period Dignity Taskforce and Blaenau Gwent’s Period Equality Taskforce, which have both been set up to ensure products are reaching the girls that need them.
During 2019 and 2020, phs was recognised for its work around Period Equality, by scooping up several awards at the CIPR Wales PRide Awards and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Marketing Excellence Awards, including Best Education Campaign, Best Innovative New Product/Service campaign and Best Corporate Communications campaign.
Work with phs
From our own campaign and independent research, we know young people believe access to period products is a real issue. Doing the right thing is a core ethos at phs; and providing period products to women and girls is certainly the right thing to do.
phs offers a variety of period products to suit different needs, including sanitary pads, tampons, sustainable reusable pads and menstrual cups.
Providing period products to your students will:
- Support those who cannot afford sanitary products.
- Reduce the risk of period related absences.
- Increase the wellbeing of your students.
- Break through the stigma of talking about periods.
- Allow students to fully focus on their studies.
What products are right for you?
Here at phs, and together with our partners, we’re making it our mission to provide the perfect menstrual products for you, with no compromises! From standard non-applicator and applicator tampons, to standard and reusable pads and menstrual cups – we’ve got something to empower everyone. We are also able to offer Period Starter Kits.
Together with Lil-Lets and Brook, we have created educational lessons plans for schools from year 4 to 9. These lesson plans can purely be delivered on their own or to complement the schools current offering.
To find out what’s included or download our lesson plans, please click below.
Advice for teens
At phs, we understand that as great as it is to be a teen, it’s not always easy. Therefore, we have partnered with Lil-Lets to provide support for schools and advice for teenagers to provide guidance on ‘becoming a Teen’, ‘what is Puberty’ and much more – Download the Ultimate Guide to becoming a Teen today. The guide is available in both English and Welsh.
We also appreciate that choosing the right Period Product for you, can be confusing as there are so many products available. Together with Lil-Lets, we have created two guides which provide information on their organic range for both non-applicator tampons and pads. Download the guides today to find out more. Both guides are available in English and Welsh.
We also have free posters for both primary and secondary schools that you can download, you can find them here
Our research found that 52% of people* think girls should have access to period products via free vending machines in washrooms. In response to this, we worked with schools, local authorities and FM providers to develop a free-vend sanitary machine, which we believe is the best solution in providing free sanitary products.
The Free-Vend Sanitary Machine can be easily fitted in washrooms and is convenient and discreet. It offers a managed and hygienic method of distributing products to students. without the embarrassment of having to ask a teacher or colleague.
Research also found that people would support free period product vending machines in key areas of society, including GP Surgeries, leisure centres and community centres. Could you place one in your workplace to help normalise free product periods?
Take the first step today
Teenage girls are telling us they need help*:
25% of girls told us they had to make do without sanitary products during their period
1 in 9 girls told us they have missed school or college because they could not afford sanitary products
36% of girls told us that there is a lack of education over matters such as periods and contraception. In fact, 17% say that a lack of education is the biggest barrier facing young girls at school today.
phs can work with you to help end period poverty in your school, college, or workplace. Show that you care by taking the first step today.Speak to an expert
*Source: phs Period Poverty Whitepaper