we enter into the festive season, there is a natural break in our
operations and a chance to reflect on what has been an incredible year
for the Red Box Project.
We left 2018 with news that Scotland had
rolled out a free period products scheme, funded by the Scottish
Government, for all schools, colleges, and universities. Incredible,
right? Wales also acknowledged period poverty and allocated £1mil of
funding to welsh local authorities to explore period product provision
as well as identifying and exploring potential resolutions for the
stigma attached to periods.
The Red Box Project entered into
2019 with the ambition of reaching more young people, ensuring that no
one missed out on their education due to having their period. We
started the year with some amazing people who volunteered and showed
brilliant dedication to running their local Red Box Projects and the Red
Boxes we had out in educational settings was a true testament to this.
The Red Box Project was off to a great start for 2019!
Towards the end of January, the Red Box Project partnered with the #FreePeriods
campaign, founded by Amika George, to bring forward a legal challenge
to the Government ensuring that they complied with their obligations of
the Equalities Act 2010, within education.
As we entered into
March 2019, it was International Women’s Day which our volunteer
coordinators, up and down the country, got involved with events, talks
and celebrations! It was also quite a big week for Government
announcements in the world of all things periods!
The week was
started with the Minister for Women and Equalities, Rt. Hon. Penny
Mordaunt MP, announcing that the Government would be convening a task
force for to investigate and explore the issue of period poverty. The
task force was to be made up of public, private and third sector
organisations who had expertise in period poverty. It was also
announced, in the same week, that people who are in-patients in NHS
hospitals would also have free period products available for them to use
for the duration of their stay. This policy was further extended to
cover people who had been detained and remained in police custody, they
too would have access to the period products they require. We are sure
you will agree, these were all positive steps forward to achieving a
country that has resolved period poverty.
The following week, after International Women’s Day had been, brought some amazing news for the Red Box Project. Our campaigning and push to drive about change had been heard and on 13th March 2019, at the hearing of the Spring Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that funding would be made available for period products to be accessible in all schools and colleges. This day marked an amazing 2 years for the project!
Upon further analysis of the announcement, it was discovered that the new scheme would be available to secondary schools and colleges in England. This is an England only policy as education is a devolved matter to the other administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We continue to campaign to ensure that primary schools would also have access to the products they need and in April 2019, the Minister for Children and Families announced that the provision would be extended to cover young people in primary schools, too! Another fantastic achievement for the Red Box Project!
announcement, the Red Box Project has been engaging and working with the
Department for Education, the government department responsible for the
delivery of the period products scheme, to ensure that this scheme is
as successful as it can be.
The new policy scheme, that will see
the provision of period products made available in all primary and
secondary schools, as well as colleges, in England will be rolled out in
So, what does this now mean for the Red Box
Project? We are sure you will agree, it has been a triumphant year for
everyone involved with the Red Box Project. 2019 will definitely be
remembered for the year the Red Box Project brought about change! The
Red Box Project has always been clear of our aim, to ensure no young
person misses out on their education due to their period. So, with this
in mind, the HQ team took the strategic decision to wind down our
operations gradually towards January 2020, allowing for the Government’s
new scheme to be rolled out and benefit young people.
As the year has progressed and the impact of our work and the message behind it has spread beyond Great Britain. We now have projects in the US, Canada, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Germany, Poland, Monaco, Tanzania, Japan and New Zealand! We are very touched that our work has managed to reach this far around the world and it is a real honour to work with such amazing and determined people!
The Red Box Project will continue to support international projects as much as we can. Our ambition of seeing a world where no young person misses out on their education because they have their period is coming ever closer to be achieved!
Anna, Clegg, and everyone who has volunteered with the Red Box Project over the past two and a half years would like to express our gratitude and sincere thanks for your tireless and continued support. None of the achievements that we have seen in 2019 would have been possible without you supporting your local project. So, truly from the bottom of our hearts, a huge thank you!
We wish you a very happy and merry festive break and all the very best for the New Year ahead!
With best wishes, as ever,
Red Box Project HQ ❤️