As we face these incredibly uncertain and challenging times, one thing is certain: periods will continue

The Red Box Project and Free Periods and have always fought to ensure that every young person has access to the period products that they need when they’re at school. But now schools are closing, perhaps for some time. 

We’re so relieved that phs have confirmed that they will continue to make deliveries of free period products to schools under the Department for Education scheme during the lockdown. 

We now need to ensure that all state-maintained schools and colleges in England continue to place orders and take steps to distribute essential period supplies to students at home (in a safe and appropriate way). 

Please support our campaign by:

SHARING THIS NEWS ON TWITTER

or

GETTING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL OR COLLEGE: example wording is below:

Dear [Headteacher/ Head of Pastoral Support]

Thank you, firstly, for all you are doing at this extraordinarily challenging time. It is appreciated so very much.

I wanted to get in touch to ask if you knew that the Department for Education’s free period products scheme is still running for all state-maintained schools and colleges in England? 

Phs Group (who run the scheme) have confirmed that they will continue to make deliveries of free period products to eligible schools and colleges, despite the lockdown. They can make these deliveries in a contactless way, and (if a particular school is closed) they can redirect deliveries to neighbouring schools. 

As you know, periods won’t stop even though schools are closed, so it is really important that young people who rely on accessing period supplies at their place of learning are not left without this support. Even if you have not placed an order under the scheme before, it is not too late to access free period supplies for our students.

I know that you would need to think carefully about how best to distribute these products to students in a safe and appropriate way, given the social distancing measures that are in place. One idea I have heard is that, for some schools, they could add period supplies to a delivery of provisions relating to free school meals. Alternatives could perhaps include a one-off collection at school by a parent/ carer or contactless deliveries to students’ homes. 

Guidance on the scheme and how to place orders is available from the Department for Education here. If you have any problems placing your order, you can call phs on 01827 255500.

Many thanks again for all that you are doing. 

Best wishes

[X]

Guidance on the scheme and how to place orders is available from the Department for Education here. If you have any problems placing your order, you can call phs on 01827 255500.

Thank you for all of your support, especially those of you who were able to share our posts and write to your MP on this issue.

You really have made a difference.

Please do continue to shout out about this campaign – period products are a necessity and we need to ensure continued access to them, despite the lockdown.

Follow us on our Instagram page: @theredboxprojecuk

Free period products for all English State-Funded schools and colleges!

We’re absolutely thrilled that, from Monday 20th January, every state-funded school and college in England will be able to order free period products for their students.⁣

Having access to free period products in school can have a huge impact on a young person’s ability to participate in their education, and so to reach their full potential. For some, this new scheme could even mean the difference between attending school or staying at home when they have their period.⁣

That’s why we have teamed up with Free Periods to urge every school and college in England to sign up to the Government’s new scheme.⁣

This is an amazing opportunity to achieve greater equality in our education system, but we need every eligible institution to use its allocated funding and make period products freely available to their students as soon as possible.⁣

The time has come: join the Period Revolution!⁣

#PeriodRevolution⁣

#RedBoxProject⁣

#FreePeriods

AN Announcement – England Government’s Scheme

We have news on the Government funded scheme for free period products in schools and colleges in England!

Please read the below and please do share, so that schools and colleges can sign up to the scheme in January, and make the most of this funding! 

Key updates:

  • As we know, the scheme is opt-in: schools and colleges will need to order their free products 
  • Products should be available to order from late January 2020 (this is later than originally intended – it is understood that this is because of restrictions on communications in the period prior to the general election)
  • Institutions will be able to place orders by phone, email or via an online portal – when this process is open, we will contact you immediately
  • A range of products will be available to order, including:
  • Always towels (normal and long)
  • Lil-lets environmentally-friendly pads (normal and super)
  • Lil-lets teen pads (day and night)
  • Tampax Compak tampons (normal, super and super plus)
  • Tampax cardboard applicator tampons (normal, super and super plus)
  • Lil-lets non-applicator tampons (regular, super and super plus)
  • Lil-lets organic non-applicator tampons 
  • Reusable pads by Bloom & Nora (mini and midi) and carry bag
  • Mooncups (in two sizes)
  • There will be a maximum Order Limit per Institution per academic year, which will be based on a specified amount being allocated for every “estimated menstruating learner” in each Institution. We do not have any information at this stage about how this amount has been calculated. The range of products vary in cost and therefore will affect how many products can be ordered within the Order Limit: for example, we expect Tampax Compak tampons would be more expensive than cardboard applicator tampons. The Order Limit will be notified to each institution by phs Group before the start of each academic year and prior to the placement of each order. 
  • In addition to products themselves, phs Group also plans to provide schools with guidance on the ordering process, information on the storage and safety of products (e.g. information on Toxic Shock Syndrome), briefing documents to share with pupils and practical resources to raise awareness of the scheme in schools (e.g. leaflets and posters)
  • All institutions will be able to place orders as soon as the scheme opens; from the start of the next term (Spring 2020), there may be staggered ordering windows during which time orders must be made. We do not currently have further details of this 
  • The free period products should be delivered no later than 5 business days of being ordered
  • The Government anticipates c.£6m being spent on products each financial year, which assumes around 35% take up of free products by menstruating students. The contract awarded has a value of £11m. Although it is not completely clear from publicly available information, it seems the greatest risk to the efficacy of the scheme lies with the Order Limits: if they are too small, the scheme’s efficacy will be in real jeopardy. 
  • Free products are available to all schools and colleges in England (including the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight). The following institutions are covered by the scheme:
  • All state maintained primary and secondary schools including academies and free schools
  • All state maintained middle/ all through schools
  • All general hospital schools, special schools, academies and free schools
  • All alternative provision institutions, including pupil referral units 
  • All Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funded schools, academies, colleges and independent learning Suppliers, with provision for 16 to 19 year olds (including those with older students where these have an Education Health and Care Plan)

This information comes mainly from a redacted copy of the contract between the Department for Education and phs Group, which won the tender to deliver the scheme. This can be found on a link on this webpage.

We would welcome feedback from eligible institutions about the impact of Order Limits in their schools, and any other comments on the scheme, as it rolls out.

We are committed to providing further updates on the scheme as soon as they are available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do let us know.

The Red Box Project arrives in Tokyo!

Well, this is something pretty exciting that we would like to share with you.

We now have a Red Box Project in Tokyo! It is mind-blowing to think that a community project, set up in Portsmouth, has caught the attention of a young woman in Tokyo. Kanna, we are so proud to have you onboard the team, supporting young people in your community.

Our overseas projects are growing and it is something we are really proud of. The issues we are tackling here in the UK, of course, happen across the world and our model enables individuals to take ownership of their volunteering experience and set up a project that is unique to their time and availability.

Welcome aboard Tokyo!

#TheRedBoxProject
#RedBoxProject
#Tokyo
#Equality
#MenstrualEquality
#KindnessMatters
#Volunteering
#FreePeriods

The Red Box Project Monaco

We are incredibly proud to be working with these young women from the International School of Monaco who, through the leadership and confidence-building workshops, run by SheCanHeCan, have put their knowledge, passion and energy into putting an end to period inequality in Monaco.

If you haven’t already, do head over to Instagram and show them your support (@theredboxprojectmc). It is constantly being updated with all of the hard work they are putting into action and we are honoured to have them join us as part of the RBP family!

Together, they are really making a difference. 🙌🏼

#EndPeriodInequality
#SheCanHeCan
#SheCanHeCanMC
#RedBoxProjectMonaco
#RedBoxProject
#KindnessMatters
#WeAreStrongerTogether

Fighting for menstrual equality in Niagara

Our Red Box Project volunteer coordinator has recently had the pleasure of connecting with Marit Stiles, MPP, to discuss her stance on period poverty and how it affects students across their province. 

Here is a summary of her view on the matter and her recent steps to motion:

‘We believe that connecting and discussing this issue with politicians and school boards is how we will make long-term progress.’

We look forward to working alongside Ms Stiles & her team!

Please follow the link below and show your support, thank you.

https://www.maritstiles.ca/menstrualproductsinschools

just a few emotional words!

As our projects across England begin to slow down and close in order to allow the government’s scheme, due to roll out in 2020, to work in the best possible way, I wanted to take a moment of reflection on the journey we have been on in our over 2 years of active, on-the-ground work, fighting the issues we felt so passionately about tackling when we founded the project.

It is only when I have these moments where I take myself out of the role I have played and look in that the enormity of what we have achieved becomes a reality.

Starting a project, you never truly know how things will develop but what I always felt in my heart is that people are inherently kind. This project was designed to enable anyone to take the model and create their own unique initiative that would give them ownership and enable them to galvanize their own communities into action. Our volunteer coordinators are the very best and combined with the kindness shown by communities across the land, humility has blossomed and spread in the most joyous of ways, in our pursuit for equality in our classrooms. It has been remarkable to witness The Red Box Project bring together people from every walk of life.

I started this project when my eldest was just one year’s old and we had around 700 active boxes when my second daughter was born. They have been on this journey with me and I will always encourage them to think outside their own worlds and fight for the injustice and inequality we see every day. I want them to believe that anything is possible because it truly is. I feel proud of what we have achieved. Activism works, kindness matters.

Thank you for making the world a better place and this is just the beginning for myself and so many people involved in making the project what it is in ensuring the every human being has respect, kindness and support shown to them always.

We will fight on for our projects where the government’s support is yet to be actioned! Please join us.

The Department for Education award contract to phs group

Here at The Red Box Project, we are very interested to see this contract awarded by the Department for Education to phs Group.

We are hopeful that there will be a smooth transition for our schools and colleges from the support provided by our incredible volunteer coordinators to free products given under this scheme.

Watch this space… 👇

https://www.phs.co.uk/about-phs/expertise-news/period-equality-for-all/