You are here:

Let's Talk Period

A photo of Kiah-Ann, 17

Let’s Talk. Period

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

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 and releasing a first-of-its-kind report on UK girls’ experiences of their periods, Break the Barriers.

Let’s Talk. Period is a new project committed to ending period poverty in England, which we’ll be delivering with Brook, the young people’s sexual health and wellbeing charity, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

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

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

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

A toxic trio of period poverty

Every day, 800 million people around the world have their period. The average woman menstruates for more than eight years during her lifetime – but periods are still shrouded in secrecy and taboo.

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

Let’s Talk. Period is a project that aims to tackle the ‘Toxic Trio’ and fight period poverty in England. The project will:

  • Pilot the P-Card Scheme in seven locations in England, ensuring those in need receive products, education and training.
  • Bring together the network of organisations and professionals who are seeking solutions to period poverty
  • Deliver the Period Poverty Grant scheme to support smaller organisations to tackle period poverty.
  • Make sure young people have a voice when it comes to period poverty. We are currently recruiting for a Let’s Talk. Period. Youth Advisory Panel members.
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

The P-Card scheme

The P-Card scheme (based on the current ‘C-Card’ scheme, which provides free condoms and sexual health advice to 13 to 24 years old) will be piloted in seven locations across England.

As well as receiving free period products, young people will receive guidance about menstruation and their bodies and given information on the range of period products available, including sustainable choices.

To find out more, visit Brook’s website >

A photo of Jessica, 17
"In primary school they taught us about what our period was, they told us that we’d use pads or tampons and then that was about the only education I got on how to deal with your periods.” - Jessica, 17, Manchester

The Let's Talk. Period network

We will build a network of individuals, organisations and groups to create a Community of Practice. The purpose of the community is to promote learning, share best practice, build partnerships and provide the opportunity to expand on the ground-breaking work already being done to tackle the ‘Toxic Trio’ of period poverty. Regional workshops will give people the chance to come together, share good practice and look to the future.

Contact Letstalkperiod@plan-uk.org for more information or to join the network.

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

Period Poverty Grants

If you are a grassroots organisation tackling period poverty in your local area, you may be eligible to apply for a grant from the Period Poverty Grant Scheme.

The scheme is designed to fund organisations working to tackle the ‘Toxic Trio’ at a local level. The grants will range between £5,000 to £10,000, for a maximum of one year.

The period poverty grant scheme is now open to applications. You can download information about the application criteria and an application form. Once completed please submit the application form to letstalkperiod@plan-uk.org. The closing date for applications is Monday 14th January at 5pm.

If you are interested in applying for a grant or want more information about Let’s Talk. Period please email letstalkperiod@plan-uk.org

BREAK THE BARRIERS

OUR FIRST-OF-A-KIND REPORT ON GIRLS’ EXPERIENCES OF PERIODS IN THE UK