Scottish football club Hibernian FC has become the latest professional club to help tackle period poverty for fans and its community.
The club has partnered with Hey Girls, a Dunbar-based social enterprise company set up to tackle period poverty, to provide free products for fans at Easter Road. Female fans will be able to access free Hey Girls products in the toilets at the stadium.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 women in the UK struggle to afford period products. Hey Girls operates a Buy One Give One model, which means that for every box of products sold, a box is donated to someone in need via a network of donation partners including schools, colleges, food banks, women’s shelters and community centres.
Hibs’ partnership with Hey Girls means that for every box purchased by the club, a donation is matched into the local community to tackle period poverty. In this instance, matched donations will go to Canongate Youth, who support young people in Edinburgh.
Hibernian captain Joelle Murray (pictured), who also works as the Hibernian Girls Academy Manager through the Hibernian Community Foundation, said:
It’s great that the club can provide supporters with products if they need them at the match, and at the same time support the local community through Hey Girls’ matched donation.
We want Easter Road to be a welcoming environment for all supporters, and menstruation should not stop our female fans from enjoying watching the team here.
The club is seeing more and more girls and women involved, be it through attending men’s and women’s matches, coming through our Girls Academy or through involvement in our range of community initiatives.
If we can break down some of the barriers of what is still a bit of a taboo subject then that can only be a positive for everyone.”
According to data from grassroots movement On The Ball, there are now 65 clubs in the UK helping to tackle period poverty.
Celia Hodson, Founder of Hey Girls, said:
We’re working really hard to tackle period poverty across the UK, but providing free period products in public places, including in football stadiums like Easter Road, is about something much bigger than this.
Every woman has a story about getting caught short when they’re on their period. Hibernian are doing a great thing by providing their fans with free period products, because it ensures that anyone caught short can take what they need and carry on enjoying the game in dignity. Being on your period should never be a barrier, and that includes supporting your favourite team at the game.
More importantly, though, Hibernian are doing a great thing for their local community because for every box used at Easter Road, we match it with a donation to one of our partners in the community. We think it’s a win-win partnership.
Since launching in January, Hey Girls has donated more than 1.3 million boxes of products to individuals and communities in need across the UK. For stockist information visit www.heygirls.co.uk.
To find out more about how other clubs can help tackle period poverty, contact On The Ball on Twitter: https://twitter.com/onthebaw.
Picture: Hibernian FC / Hey Girls