Roll-out of the Governments Period Products Scheme

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.

We have never expected young people to pack their own toilet roll or soap in their schoolbags; it is only right that these equally essential items are also freely available.

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: let’s join the Period Revolution!

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!




2019: That’s a Wrap!

As 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!

Since this 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 January 2020.

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 Governments 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 ❤️

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 Tokyo

We are so pleased to see this update from The Red Box Project Tokyo! Their first box will be going into Yoyogi High School on December 10th.

We have made huge strides in Scotland, Wales & (soon!) England in terms of Government funded free period products, but we’ll never stop striving for equality for ALL young people ✊


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!


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. 🙌


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.

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… 👇