REFLECT- THE MALL WOOD GREEN TACKLES POVERTY
Involved Partners: Hey Girls CIC
Research by Plan International has found that 1 in 10 girls in the UK cannot afford to buy menstrual products. If a girl misses school every time she has her period, she is set 145 days behind her fellow students. 40% of children in Wood Green are currently living in poverty, a shocking statistic that is significantly higher than the London average and will only increase due to the cost-of-living crisis. This means that girls in Wood Green are disproportionately affected by period poverty, and that while they can access free period products at school, during holidays they could struggle.
In Summer 2021, The Mall Wood Green introduced a scheme whereby anyone can visit the Guest Lounge to collect a ‘package from Florence’ and be given a free period pack, no questions asked.
The scheme was advertised simply via a poster in the toilets and was used from the day the poster was displayed. While the original intention was to run the scheme to help girls during school holidays, it quickly became apparent that it was needed year-round to serve our majority-female guests. In February 2022, to make access even easier for young people, we introduced a free vending machine in the toilets, and guests are encouraged to take what they need. We partnered with Scotland-based CIC Hey Girls to purchase their products for the second phase of the campaign, because:
- For every product we buy, they donate one to a person in need (over 20 million to date)
- They meet our ESG goals, being certified organic cotton, 100% biodegradable, and plastic free
This first of its kind scheme has been well received by guests and has helped to break the stigma around the issue of period poverty in our community.