News | Period Poverty | 21.06.22

Nationwide join forces with Hey Girls in fight against period poverty

Steve Ross and Daisy Williams

Nationwide Building Society is leading the charge in tackling period poverty – providing free period products to colleagues in offices across the UK.

The world’s largest building society has teamed up with award-winning social enterprise Hey Girls to install new vending machines in all of its office buildings, giving thousands of employees access to these vital products.

Steve Ross, Assistant Facilities Consultant at Nationwide, who leads the initiative, said the mutual ran a trial last year and were blown away by the positive feedback.

“We had put together a trial at one of our main admin centres in Scotland,” he said.

“The feedback we got from our colleagues was overwhelmingly positive, so we built a business plan to see if it was possible to roll out across all our administration offices.

“This has been such a great initiative to work on – I have become very passionate about period dignity and opening up the conversation.”

Following the successful trial, Nationwide thought about how to scale up the project.

After contacting Hey Girls, they were impressed by the social enterprise’s dedication to fighting period poverty in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Sally Battersby, Facilities Consultant at Nationwide added: “The thing that struck me about Hey Girls was its commitment to sustainability.

“All its products are biodegradable, so we can offer these products to colleagues without impacting the environment.”

Nationwide began rolling out the products in offices in May 2022.

Daisy Williams, Partner and Contracts Manager at Hey Girls, said: “It is great to have Nationwide on board and it has been wonderful to work with Steve and his team to launch their Period Dignity scheme.

“Nationwide are true champions of the Hey Girls cause.

“We want to end period poverty and to remove the stigma around Periods, helping to open up the conversation and promote period dignity.”

Nationwide has a long history of working with partner organisations to increase its expertise and develop initiatives to promote wellbeing among colleagues, as well as tackling environmental harm and promoting diversity and inclusion.

Founded in Scotland by Celia Hodson and her daughters Kate and Bec, Hey Girls has donated more than 21 million environmentally-friendly products to those in need since 2018.

The community interest company operates on a “buy one, donate one” model, with community partners benefitting from free products including food banks, women’s refuges and homeless shelters.