Period Empowerment in Exeter Schools

by The Nest Southwest CIC in Exeter, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st June 2021 we successfully raised £1,002 with 28 supporters in 28 days

We want to train a team of transitioneers to provide Period Clarity Workshops for pre-teens in Exeter schools.

by The Nest Southwest CIC in Exeter, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

An extra £1000 would go towards rolling out the project in the following school year on a wider scale. This would allow us to continue providing Period Clarity and confidence for young people in the local community.


We’re on a mission to change the culture around periods and well-being for young people.

We are The Nest Southwest CIC and we are raising money to run Period Clarity Workshops in Exeter secondary schools this Autumn. We are raising £1000 to complete our target and run our pilot project.

49% of girls have missed an entire day of school due to their periods

Menstrual health may feel like only a small part of a young person's well-being but it can affect all aspects of their life: their relationships, their access to education, their confidence. Our society has created a culture of silence, ignorance and shame which directly impacts mental health and well-being. Rates of self-harm and attempted suicide are alarmingly high (suicide rates of girls increased by 83% in the last 8 years).

Period Empowerment in schools: why now?

In September 2020 UK law changed and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) became statutory in secondary education. However, teachers are under more stress than ever due to the Covid pandemic. Adding RSE to their already stretched workload means it can be an uncomfortable burden for both teachers and students. Only 1 in 5 girls feel comfortable talking to their teacher about periods.

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Introducing: Period Empowerment in Exeter Schools through Period Clarity Workshops

Our pilot programme aims to train 24 'transitioneers' focusing on the topics of:

  • Sustainable periods
  • How periods affect different people
  • The importance of menstrual wellbeing

Once trained up they will be supported to go into schools and deliver interactive, open, unpressured workshops where all students have the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about how menstrual wellbeing can and will affect their whole lives.

Our inclusive education for young people of all genders aims to change this culture of silence and shame. The sessions will be delivered by a team of approachable, well-informed volunteers who are able to open up the conversation, build body and emotional literacy and break period taboos.

We want all young people to be empowered by topics that are seen as taboo, not ashamed and silenced by them. Students will learn how to break taboos, speak out against injustice and find out how to reclaim topics including periods, sustainability and body positivity. 

Who are we?

The Nest Southwest is an Exeter based not-for-profit community interest company set up by three Devon women to support other women. Our team is now growing and the Period Empowerment Project is the next step of our work in the local community.

We believe that everyone should have access to up to date, accessible, understandable information about the menstrual cycle and its impact on physical and mental health.

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We need your support

Please help us empower young people and break down taboos in Exeter schools. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Donate and help us reach our target: no donation is too small. Check out our 'Equivalent Rewards' to see what your pledge could fund!
  • Learn more and sign up to become a volunteer Transitioneer: click here
  • Share our campaign with others.
  • Follow us on social media to keep up to date and track our progress on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Check out what else we do on our website: https://thenestsw.org/

What will your donations fund?

We have already raised £2000 thanks to the Postcode Community Trust: a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We have recruited our two pilot schools in Exeter - St Peters and Clyst Vale Community College and therefore are going to be working with 600 students in November 2021!

So now all we need is our 24 Transitioneer volunteers and the final £1000 to help cover their travel expenses, provide our printed materials for schools and put together our ‘sustainable period product educational packs’

Equivalent Rewards

For sustainability reasons and so that we can make the very most of your donations, we have decided not to post physical rewards like t-shirts/stickers etc. Instead, we have put in place our 'equivalent rewards' so you can see exactly what your donation will be put towards. For instance, a donation of £15 will cover the cost of a pair of demo period pants or £50 will fund a full box of demo items. Check out the graphic below!

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Meet the Team

Chloe Tingle conducted the first national research with Plan International into young people and period poverty here in the UK. She has spent the last 6 years working on menstrual health programmes around the world and promoting the use of reusable sustainable period products such as menstrual cups and washable pads.

Hazel Acland is a director of The Nest Southwest and a women’s circle facilitator, supporting women and girls through different life cycles. She has written two books on pregnancy and birth. Every month Hazel holds a ’Red Tent’ event that focuses on menstrual cycle awareness. Her background is teaching English as a foreign language to teenagers in Europe and Central America. 

The Future

This is our pilot project, working with two schools in the Exeter area. We will use qualitative and quantitative measures to assess the quality of our workshops and the impact of the programme on pupils. We hope this project will become sustainable in the long term with a mixture of fee-paying and subsidised workshops. 

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FAQs

Who is providing the Period Clarity Workshops? 

We are The Nest Southwest CIC, an Exeter based Community Interest Company that supports women and girls at various transitions in their lives - namely, menstruation, childbirth and menopause. We are not medically trained but offer access to research-informed information and balance this with community peer support groups. The Period Clarity Workshops are being delivered in tandem with No More Taboo - a menstrual education organisation. The co-leads are Hazel Acland and Chloe Tingle.

What is RSE? 

From September 2020, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) will become statutory in all secondary schools.

Why is it for all genders? What will the boys and those who don't menstruate get out of it? 

Periods are something that affects the whole population: whether a person is menstruating themselves or they live, work or are friends with people that menstruate. Being educated about periods can take away the stigma and stops it from being a taboo subject. In an ideal world, it is something that everyone understands. By working with all genders we aim to demystify the myths surrounding menstruation and create a welcoming environment to encourage conversations.

If you would like to speak to us before you donate, please send us an email at [email protected] We would love to hear from you!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£2 or more

£2 Equivalent Reward: Information Flyer

With your donation of £2, we can provide an information flyer about Period Clarity! The flyers will allow our workshops to have a lasting impact on the young people that take part. What will your reward be? You'll be putting a smile on a young person's face, making them feel more confident and better prepared :)

£5 or more

£5 Equivalent Reward: Demo Reusable Pad

With your donation of £5, we can buy a sample reusable period pad to go into our school demo box. By having real demo products in the workshops, we will be breaking taboos, encouraging conversations and empowering young people. What will your reward be? You can feel smug that you've contributed to a great cause and helped make this project happen!

£15 or more

£15 Equivalent Reward: Demo Reusable Period Pants

With your donation of £15, we can buy a sample pair of period pants to go into our school demo box. By having real demo products in the workshops, we will be breaking taboos, encouraging conversations and empowering young people. What will your reward be? You'll be putting a smile on a young person's face, making them feel more confident and better prepared :)

£20 or more

£20 Equivalent Reward: Demo Menstrual Cup

With your donation of £20, we can buy a sample menstrual cup to go into our school demo box. By having real demo products in the workshops, we will be breaking taboos, encouraging conversations and empowering young people. What will your reward be? You can feel smug that you've contributed to a great cause and helped make this project happen!

£50 or more

£50 Equivalent Reward: Full Box of Demo Items

With your donation of £50, we can buy a whole demo box of reusable period products for a school. This will include a pair of reusable period pants, a menstrual cup and a reusable pad. What will your reward be? You'll be putting a smile on a young person's face, making them feel more confident and better prepared :)

£280 or more

£280 Equivalent Reward: Transitioneer Trained

Your donation will fund a Transitioneer Volunteer to attend a 6-week training program to deliver period clarity workshops to pre-teens in schools. What will your reward be? The knowledge that you have made a positive contribution to the lives of many young people in Exeter!

£350 or more

£350 Equivalent Reward: A Period Clarity Workshop

Your donation will cover an hour-long workshop for 30 students on period clarity! These workshops will encourage conversations about periods and menstruation, allow the students to ask questions in a comfortable environment and increase their awareness on menstruation-related issues. What will your reward be? You'll be helping to make these workshops happen and therefore supporting young people in our community.

£2,000 or more

£2000 Equivalent Reward: A Year Group's Workshops

Your donation would cover delivering Period Clarity Workshops for an entire year group which is approximately 8 classes. These workshops will encourage conversations about periods, allow the students to ask questions in a comfortable environment and increase their awareness of menstruation-related issues. What will your reward be? The knowledge that you have made an amazing contribution to the lives of many young people in Exeter!

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