Government backed scheme offers free access to period products in schools – including the Mooncup®
This week saw another historic moment for us at Mooncup Ltd with the Mooncup® menstrual cup becoming available free-of-charge in schools in England for the first time, as part of a new Department for Education scheme.
We’re proud to have partnered with phs Group to provide a reusable period option for all learners who need to access period products in their place of study.
The government backed scheme aims to grant equal access to sanitary products to all learners who may need them – this may include, for example, where learners:
- have forgotten their products
- cannot afford products
- have come on their period unexpectedly
Having periods should not be a barrier to education and by making sure period products are accessible when needed we hope that the stigma surrounding periods will be reduced.
As conversation and awareness around period poverty has developed over the past few years, we know that there are still many whom are experiencing stigma and inequality due to being unable to afford the basic products which are essential to their day-to-day lives.
At Mooncup Ltd we believe that nobody should be held back from accessing education due to their period which is why we’re so proud to be involved with the initiative.
Offering an eco-friendly period product choice
We’re pleased to announce that this will be the first time that an environmentally friendly and plastic-free option is being offered in schools in England, alongside traditional disposable pads and tampons.
Studies have shown that a lack of knowledge about reusable period products is the main obstacle for young people to make the switch to a menstrual cup. Research conducted in 2018 by Plan International UK that focused on 11 to 18-year-olds, found that those who had heard of reusables cited YouTube as their main source of information. We hope that bringing reusables to the school setting will help to educate learners about their options in a safe and trusted environment.
The Mooncup® reusable menstrual cup offers a greener way to manage periods for young people, many of whom are passionate about living sustainable lifestyles. When cleaned and stored properly, the Mooncup will last for years and years and so is an effective way to eliminate the cost of managing periods throughout their menstruating lives.
Based on our experience of working with the Sexual Health & Wellbeing charity Brook, we know that young people find the cost-effectiveness of menstrual cups particularly appealing, as well as their convenience and low environmental impact.
Our goal from day one has been to make menstruation as positive an experience as it can possibly be. We hope that this large-scale project, and the conversation around it, will help in continuing to break the taboo around periods as well as give young people access to information about all their menstrual product options.
The fight for ‘Period Equality’
The phs Period Equality research study revealed new insights into the experiences of teenagers in the UK. They found that of those who missed school due to their period:
‘almost one in five girls missed an average of five or more days each term,
equating to a loss of three or more full weeks of school over the course of the academic year.’
The study also revealed that:
‘one in 20 had been unable, or found it difficult to afford sanitary products,
while 4% said they had been unable to access them at all.’
We hope that the scheme will not only invoke the practical action needed to meet the fundamental needs of those who can’t afford or access sanitary products, but will also further encourage and open up conversation about ‘period equality’.
How can your school, college or organisation get involved?
For more information on how schools & further education colleges can access these products please visit the phs website. By using this portal schools may be able to create an account to register with the scheme.
Please spread the word to any teachers, parents or students who may be interested in the scheme by sharing this article.
You can contact phs directly on 01827 255 500 or email [email protected]