A new approach to our pledge to tackle period poverty in the UK

Since March 2017, over 9 million Bodyform products have been donated to help tackle the issue of period poverty in the UK after news reports highlighted that some women+ are becoming socially isolated due to lack of appropriate sanitary protection.

"These latest reports are in line with research from our own Hygiene Matters report which found 40 per cent of UK girls have felt that their period has kept them from leading a full and active life at school," explains Essity’s Marketing Director for Bodyform, Ruth Gresty"As a manufacturer of these essential products, we feel incredibly moved by this and we see this commitment as the first step in helping to combat these issues. Alongside campaigns such as The Homeless Period, we can overcome the taboo of talking about menstruation while ensuring sanitary products are reaching those most in need."

The commitment sees Bodyform join forces with In Kind Direct, a charity founded in 1996 by HRH King Charles and an existing charity partner of the Bodyform manufacturer, Essity, who together have distributed around £3m worth of essential personal care supplies to worthy causes throughout the UK since 2011.

Through its network of 5,000 charitable organisations around the UK, In Kind Direct will help Bodyform distribute 100,000 free Ultra Normal+ Wings Towels every month, providing essential care for thousands of additional women+.

"In Kind Direct is a UK charity who believe everyone deserves access to life’s essentials
and that no usable product should go to waste – We exist to enable more communities to thrive. We know the negative impacts that period poverty can have, particularly for young girls who miss out on school because they don’t have access to the right products. Being able to rely on Bodyform’s regular commitment of period products means we can help charitable organisations every month, in the fight against period poverty, boosting dignity and self-esteem for those who would normally go without."

Rosanne Grey, CEO of In Kind Direct

In Kind Direct has been able to support 2771 charities and organisations with donations of Bodyform products since 2017. These donations have a positive impact across the UK, reaching those who need them most.

“The ability to provide our members with Bodyform period products has been extremely
welcomed and appreciated. Over 40% of our members are families with children and the added expense of period products to the weekly shop means a lot of parents have gone without products themselves in order to provide for their daughters. Thank you so much for making such a big difference to the lives of our members.”

In Kind Direct Charity Partner, Castleman Community Larder CIC

"We are The Grace Period Project; a not for profit organisation that aims to tackle period poverty in North Somerset. We source period pads as often as we can from In Kind Direct and distribute
them into bags.

Each bag contains one month's worth of period products, one chocolate and one wellness teabag. With the cost of living crisis forcing people to choose between purchasing food, fuel or period products, we want each bag to feel like a gift and a celebration; we don’t want life to feel harder simply because someone's got their period.

Thanks to In Kind Direct and Bodyform, we distribute almost 200 bags a month to 15 different locations across North Somerset. Each bag can be collected free of charge, no referral needed and helps the 1 in 8 menstruators who are at risk of period poverty. Without the donations of period pads to In Kind Direct, we would be unable to operate. Thank you for existing and making our work possible!"

Grace Period Project

Ruth concludes. "Because of the stigma attached to the subject of menstruation we are aware that this could be just the tip of the iceberg, which is why we see this as a long term sustainable commitment. Until we know the full extent of this issue in the UK, we would urge other manufacturers to look at how they can further support this cause so that we can keep increasing access to these fundamental products."