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Let's talk. Period

Let’s talk. Period is a project by Brook and girls’ rights charity Plan International UK, which is committed to tackling period poverty in England. 

It is a three-part project consisting of:

  • a P-Card scheme for young people. This will provide young people with education and access to free period products 
  • building a community of professionals to work together to develop effective models of practice
  • a small grants scheme to support smaller organisations to tackle period poverty. 

Tackling period poverty in England

Every day 800 million women around the world have their period, and on average a woman menstruates for 8 years. But menstruation and periods are shrouded in secrecy and shame.

The culture of stigma and taboo is having a devastating impact on the lives of girls in the UK. Period stigma, combined with the high cost of period products and a lack of education has led to what is being described as a toxic trio of ‘period poverty’.

Research on period poverty

A survey of 1,004 girls aged 14-21 by Plan International UK found that:

  • 1 in 10 girls in the UK are unable to afford period products
  • 42 per cent of girls have been forced to use makeshift products such as toilet paper, socks and newspaper because they’ve struggled to afford period products
  • More than a quarter of girls (27 per cent) said they had used a period product for longer than its intended use  because they could not afford a fresh one
  • Nearly half (48 per cent) of girls aged 14-21 in the UK are embarrassed by their periods

Frequently asked questions

Is Let’s talk. Period operating in my area?

The P-card scheme will operate in the following areas:

  • London: Lambeth, Southwark, Hackney & Barking & Dagenham 
  • Liverpool and Knowsley 
  • Manchester, Rochdale and Salford 
  • Sandwell and Wolverhampton 
  • Teesside 
  • Cornwall 
  • Bristol

For more information about the onwards grants programme or the community of practice, please contact Nicola Bristow, Community and Grants Co-ordinator letstalkperiod@plan-uk.org.

When does Let’s talk. Period start and finish?

The project launched in Autumn 2018 and will finish in March 2020.

How many young people will Let’s talk. Period support?

The project will engage 4,600 disadvantaged young people by enabling them to access free period products (including sustainable products) and providing them with education on menstruation and tools to manage their periods.

How is Let’s talk. Period funded?

The project is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Tampon Tax Fund.

The purpose of the Tampon Tax Fund is to allocate the funds generated from the VAT on sanitary products to projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.

Here are some other projects funded by the Tampon Tax Fund.

I’m a young person, how do I get a P-Card?

We are working closely with schools and youth organisations in these dedicated areas to offer the P-Card to young people that would benefit. Unfortunately we are unable to take referrals from individuals.

Here is a list of organisations that offer free period products, and other organisations shouting about period poverty.

For more information about periods please see our help and advice page

Download our free handy period tracker to help manage your periods.

I’m a teacher, how can my school get involved?

If Let’s talk. Period is operating in your area please contact sarah.torr@brook.org.uk for more information about how to get involved.

Through this project we are committed to educating and empowering as many young people as possible. Please be aware however that we may not be able to accommodate every request for support.

If Let’s talk. Period is not operating in your area, here are some things you can do to support young people in your school.

  • Make Brook’s help and advice pages available to young people via your intranet
  • Reduce stigma through education. Brook delivers sessions on puberty and many other relationships and sex education topics. Find out more here.
  • Write your MP. Take action by urging your MP to call on them to take action to reduce period poverty in the UK.

If you are interested in joining the community of practice, please email letstalkperiod@plan-uk.org

I’m an organisation, how do I get involved?

If you would like more information about the onwards grants programme or the community of practice, please contact Nicola Bristow, Community and Grants Co-ordinator letstalkperiod@plan-uk.org

I’m a corporate/brand, how do I get involved?

If you would like to support Let’s talk. Period or any other aspect of Brook’s work please contact press@brook.org.uk

What is the onwards grants programme?

The onwards grants programme funds grassroots organisations tackling period poverty in local communities. For full details of the scheme and the criteria please visit Plan UK’s website.

Feedback so far...

Thanks for delivering the “Let’s talk. Period” session to students. The sessions were valuable for the students as they were able to discuss the topic openly and learn about their bodies.  They had the opportunity to share experiences with others in a safe environment and ask questions.  The students were relaxed and engaged with the topic due to the skill of the staff presenting.  The activities were appropriate and encouraged the young people to work together.  I am looking forward to the follow up session to reinforce the learning.  The products provided were gratefully received.” Teacher in Manchester

Our supporters

Let’s talk. Period is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Tampon Tax Fund.

The purpose of the Tampon Tax Fund is to allocate the funds generated from the VAT on sanitary products to projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.

Through this project we are committed to educating and empowering as many young people as possible. Please be aware however that we may not be able to accommodate every request for support.

With special thanks to our supporters:

  • Mooncup
  • Lil-lets
  • Dame
  • Modibodi

Mooncup logo

        Lil-lets logoDAME logo

Organisations providing free period products and/or campaigning

Organisations providing free period products

The Redbox Project
Where: multiple locations
What: provides free period products to young people

Trussell Trust
Where: multiple locations
What: operates foodbacks and provides free period products alongside food parcels

Street Cramps
Where: Cornwall
What: provides homeless people with monthly boxes of period products

Provide a Pad
Where: Exeter
What: donates period products to the homeless

Bloody Good Period.
Where: London & Leeds
What: supplying asylum seekers with period products

Organisations campaiging for period poverty

Free Periods

The Homeless Period

The Bloody Big Brunch

The Period Project

Freedom4Girls UK

The Monthly Gift

Flow Aid 

Hey Girls

Free resources