News | 12.02.24

Eliminating period poverty across Norfolk

Hey Girls at the Nourishing Norfolk pantry, Kenninghall

A Norfolk charity operating food hubs across the county has joined Hey Girls’ network of community partners to help eliminate period poverty.

Through their Nourishing Norfolk network, local charity Norfolk Community Foundation will now receive our disposable and reusable period products for free, which will be distributed through its 22 affordable food hubs.

The food hubs offer local people a space to shop on a budget while getting support with life’s bigger challenges. The network has helped over more than people access healthier choices on their doorstep since 2020.

Thanks to our buy one, donate one business model, our period products will be available to Nourishing Norfolk’s food hub visitors for free.

Corrie Colson, Programmes Advisor at Norfolk Community Foundation, said she was inspired by our mission.

She said: “I love that Hey Girls is completely barrier-free. That’s something that’s really important to me, because there has been and continues to be such a stigma around periods – so it’s great to see an organisation making access to supplies as easy as possible and smashing stigma as they go.

“There’s such a stigma around periods and period supplies are really expensive, too. The mix of this means that so many girls and women go without period products.

“Almost 50% of girls in Norfolk have missed at least one day of school because of their period which is just crazy: periods shouldn’t be impacting on education.”

After reaching out to us, Corrie brought Tori Lewis, Supply and Logistics Manager for Nourishing Norfolk, to our warehouse in Diss to learn more about Hey Girls, why our fight to eradicate period poverty is important and the difference we could make in Norfolk if we worked together.

Tori and Corrie were excited to learn how our products could be distributed through the Foundation’s Nourishing Norfolk programme. The hubs get some food donated locally but are also able to order from a central warehouse in Norwich run by the foundation.

Local firm Norse Group has generously provided the warehouse space and also utilise extra room in their fleet of vans to deliver food, reducing the need for additional trips.

Tori said: “Many hubs were already offering free period products that had been donated through hygiene banks and at local shops, so being able to supply them with free products thanks to Hey Girls was a no-brainer.

“With over 20 food hubs now operating across the county, we’re delighted to be able to offer each and every one Hey Girls products. From our centralised warehouse, we’ll be able to deliver both single-use products and reusable ones, like period cups and reusable panty liners.

“As trusted community spaces where people know they can get the support they need, food hubs are great places to start conversations about switching to reusables. These products not only help people save money and beat period poverty, but they’re also kinder to the planet, too.”

Hannah Cooke, National Free Period Product Provision and Donations Co-ordinator at Hey Girls said: “It’s great to be working with Nourishing Norfolk programme to get free products to those who need them most.

“Food hubs are friendly community spaces where conversations flow naturally, so they are great places to get people talking about reusable period products.

“Our missions are closely aligned, and that’s what makes this partnership so special.”

Love Downham, based in Downham Market, is managed by Liz Heighton-Jupp and is just one of Nourishing Norfolk’s food hubs which has been running a hygiene bank for some time.

A young person who uses the hygiene bank said: “It is nice to have somewhere safe to get period products, I don’t feel embarrassed to ask for them here.”

Anna Foster, who runs the hygiene bank at Love Downham, added: “Our hygiene bank here at the centre has seen a 91% increase in the first six months compared to last year, which says it all!”

Our products will help expand what the project can offer, giving people in Downham market better access to period products.

Download the MyPeriod app today to find your nearest free period product pickup point.

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