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Let's Talk Period

A photo of Kiah-Ann, 17

Let’s Talk. Period

Find out how we worked together with Brook to tackle period poverty in England

In the UK, a culture of shame is having a devastating impact on the lives of girls and young people who menstruate. Period stigma, combined with the high cost of period products and a lack of education, make up the ‘toxic trio’ of period poverty.

In 2017 period poverty hit the headlines when a teacher in Leeds contacted a local charity, after she became concerned that girls were missing school because they couldn’t afford period products. Since then, we’ve spent time understanding the root causes of period poverty, speaking to girls, teachers and experts.

In 2018 we released a first-of-its-kind report on UK girls’ experiences of their periods, Break the Barriers. As a result of our ground-breaking research, we partnered with Brook, the young people’s sexual health and wellbeing charity, to launch Let’s talk. Period, a project committed to ending period poverty in England.

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42% of UK girlshave had to use makeshift period products because they struggle to afford menstrual products

An icon of a sanitary pad

1 in 10 girlsin the UK are unable to afford period products

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27% of UK girlshave used a period product for longer than its intended use because they couldn’t afford a fresh one

A photo of Sophie, 14
“I do think pads should be free because they’re purely needed with girls, every girl will end up having her period at some point in their life and not everyone can afford them.” - Sophie, 14, Hull

About the project

Let’s talk. Period was funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It incorporated:

  • A pilot of the P-Card, a new model of delivering period products and education in schools.
  • Research on periods and young people to create four learning briefings, to support young people and professionals seeking to tackle period poverty.
  • Providing small grants to grassroots organisations to deliver solutions in their local communities.
  • Bringing together the network of organisations and professionals who are seeking solutions to period poverty.

To find out more, visit Brook’s website >

Research and learnings

Through the Let’s talk. Period project we were able to delve further into young people’s direct experiences of period education and uncover best practice by examining a range of projects designed to tackle the toxic trio.

You can download the reports below or order copies by emailing ukgirlsrights@plan-uk.org

A photo of Aoife
“I’ve had the words, ‘Dirty! It’s disgusting.’ It’s a horrible way for a girl to feel when she’s on her period.” - Aoife, 19, London

The Period Poverty Grant Scheme

Let’s talk. Period funded nine organisations to deliver local solutions to period poverty in their communities. The organisations funded include:

  • IRISE International
  • Project Give, Wolverhampton
  • Real Period Project – Bristol
  • Knowsley Youth Mutual
  • Newcastle East Mixed Academy Trust
  • Young Women’s Film Academy
  • Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan Trust
  • Women’s Environmental Network
  • Freedom4Girls, Leeds

If you would like more information about Let’s talk. Period or our future work on periods please email ukgirlsrights@plan-uk.org 

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