Hey Girls Is Tackling Period Poverty With A Donation Scheme.

A social enterprise, named ‘Hey Girls‘ is aiming to tackle period poverty, with their ‘buy one give one’ donation scheme.

The Hey Girls range is an environmentally-friendly, plastic-free line of menstrual products, which includes period pants, menstrual cups and reusable pads, and night and daytime pads, panty liners and tampons (made from natural and organic materials). The products are fun, stylish, and they encompass an all-important message: no one should ever feel ashamed of their period.

The social enterprise was set up by a mother (Celia Hodson), and her daughters (Becky and Kate), – all of whom have unfortunately previously faced hardship (and period poverty), themselves.

Because of this, they knew first-hand, – the financial strain of buying period products whilst struggling to survive on benefits. And with 1-in-10 schoolgirls across the UK affected by period poverty, Hey Girls is now on a mission to help those struggling, through their ‘Buy One Give One’ scheme, which donates products via a wide range of community partners, – to schools, colleges, community spaces, and women’s centres (for each pack sold).

Since launching in 2018, the social enterprise has already donated over 11.5 million products in the UK through purchases made online, in supermarkets, and in independent eco-stores, with donations operating on a location basis, – to ensure that their products are widely available across a diverse range of communities in the UK. 

The anti-period-poverty organisation has also launched a “Period Dignity” campaign, which encourages employers to stock period products in staff toilets, whilst giving back to their communities through matched donations. The initiative has been an absolute “hit” so far, to say the least, with over 40 UK businesses, including Skyscanner, Bulb, Royal London and Revolution Bars getting involved.

Hey Girls works with 200+ donation partners to ensure that their products are given to those who need extra help, including community organisations, home shelters, food banks and charities, as well as providing an open and friendly environment, where women and girls can easily access products, with some partners even extending their services out to provide additional education, and a “safe zone,” – to discuss any issues relating to periods.

Prior to launching Hey Girls, Celia Hodson previously served a long career in social enterprise: after working as the Deputy Chief Executive for Social Enterprise UK, she became the Founding CEO of the Eastern Enterprise Hub’s School for Social Entrepreneurs, before relocating to Sydney to take on role of CEO for the School for Social Entrepreneurs Australia. 

On her return, she took on a pro-bono job as the Chief Executive for Journeys for Change (an organisation that ran immersive journeys around the world to help leaders make more impact globally). Celia then took on a Non-Executive Director role at the Social Enterprise Academy International, before becoming a board member for Social Investment Scotland.

AND, Hey Girls has now launched in Australia, too: “Hey Girls exists purely to end period poverty, and to offer everyone a dignified period in the process. We have made significant progress in the UK, but there is still a lot more work to be done, globally. Our core goals with this new venture is to help eradicate period poverty in Australia, and to improve access to quality period products for everyone, whilst also increasing awareness and education on period health,” said Celia.

“Recent findings suggests that more than 1-in-5 Australians can’t afford period products. Period poverty impacts more than your physical health, with pupils often missing school and even staff missing work. It has a knock-on-effect on their mental health and education, too. People are using period products desperately, completely disregarding the health and safety instructions, simply because they don’t have enough products to get by,” she added.

Celia holds many accolades for her work in social enterprise, including the Great British Entrepreneur National Winner 2019, the STV Social Entrepreneur of the year 2018, the Virgin Start-Up of the Year, AND the Women in Business Social Impact and Start-Up 2018.

Find out more here: https://www.heygirls.co.uk