Hampshire FA Partnership to Kick Period Poverty out of Football
Award-winning social enterprise Hey Girls has put pen to paper on a new deal with the Hampshire football association, providing free period products at their hub sites across the county and for their football academy.
Both reusable and disposable products are being provided to all students in the Hampshire FA Academy, with training and guidance offered to help students choose products that are most applicable, comfortable, and accommodating to their needs.
The two organisations are also creating educational videos on period poverty, period health and the best products to use for sport, with the aim of raising awareness and promoting panel discussion in grassroots football.
Daisy Williams, contracts and partnerships manager at Hey Girls, said: “We have seen through the Lionesses’ triumph at Wembley just how amazing it is when girls chase their sporting dreams.
“Too many young girls have those dreams shattered due to a lack of access to something so simple as period products – things which are by no means a luxury.
“All of us at Hey Girls are delighted to partner with Hampshire FA and hope our products will keep girls across the county on the pitch, shooting for their goals.”
Recent research by Women in Sport found 43% of UK girls who once considered themselves sporty became disengaged with sport after leaving primary school. A further seven in 10 of those surveyed said they avoid being active when on their period.
Many are forced to use unsafe alternatives to period products to stay in the game or stop playing sport entirely.
Hey Girls, which operates on a “buy one, donate one” model, has donated more than 25 million period products since it launched in 2018.
Community partners include foodbanks and homeless shelters, while it has also supported other sporting campaigns across the country.
Neil Cassar, CEO of Hampshire FA, said: “Partnerships such as this one seek to challenge stigmas and barriers, but they also seek to educate and enhance learning, which is something that we fully support and back as an organisation.
“We look forward to a long-term collaboration with Hey Girls to help spread the message far and wide, that football should be accessible and inclusive to all – and that starts with identifying and eliminating barriers to participation.”
Alienor Chartier, community engagement and inclusion officer at Hampshire FA, added: "The partnership between Hampshire FA and Hey Girls is the product of a longstanding commitment from female employees to make a stand against societal shame associated with periods.
“It is their courage that inspired this partnership.
“By providing period products to all our staff members regardless of gender, financial situation or age, we are showcasing that everybody is concerned by periods – not just people who menstruate."
The first episode of Hey Girls and Hampshire FA’s video series, on stigma, shame and poverty.
More information on Hey Girls can be found at www.heygirls.co.uk.