Social Justice

Hey Girls bring the cup home for period poverty-fighting Hibs

The social enterprise teamed up with the Edinburgh football club to hand out menstruation cups to fans

Hey Girls at Easter Road

Big Issue Invest (BII)-backed social enterprise Hey Girls booted the shame out of period poverty in Leith last night at the Hibernian FC UEFA Women’s Champions League match against Slavia Prague.

The home team lost out, but a meeting between Hey Girls‘ education and impact manager Molly Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Communities Aileen Campbell and four pupils from Edinburgh’s Broughton High School proved that the period poverty movement is on a winning streak.

Forming part of the social enterprise’s #GiveACupAGo campaign, menstrual cups (which are kinder on the environment than pads and tampons) were handed out to the crowds to try.

Hibs announced their partnership with Hey Girls last year, who operate a buy-one-give-one model which means that for every box of products sold, a box is donated to someone in need – that could mean schools, colleges, foodbanks, women’s shelters and community centres.

Hey Girls education and impact manager Molly Brown said: “It’s great to see schools like Broughton High forming a steering group of young people to distribute period products. We’ve found that putting pupils in the driving seat is the best way to do it – empowering young people to take ownership, providing education, and boosting confidence.

“We certainly saw that in spades last night with four pupils confidently explaining menstrual cups to members of the public. It was brilliant to see such inspiring young people, and to be openly talking about periods in a football stadium.”

When the Edinburgh football club pledged to provide free period products for fans at Easter Road last year, it opted to send its matched donations to Canongate Youth, a local organisation supporting young people.

Speaking at the partnership launch, Hibs captain and Girls Academy manager Joelle Murray said: “We want Easter Road to be a welcoming environment for all supporters, and menstruation should not stop our female fans from enjoying watching the team here.

Hibs Hey Girls
hibs hey girl 2

“It’s great that the club can provide supporters with products if they need them at the match, and at the same time support the local community through Hey Girls’ matched donation.

“The club is seeing more and more girls and women involved, be it through attending men’s and women’s matches, coming through our Girls Academy or through involvement in our range of community initiatives.

“If we can break down some of the barriers of what is still a bit of a taboo subject then that can only be a positive for everyone.”

Earlier this summer a £50,000 investment from BII Power Up programme helped Hey Girls stock their products in around 200 Co-op food stores. They made it into Asda and Morrisons last year.

Hibernian Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said: “We were delighted to host Hey Girls and Broughton High School pupils on what was a fantastic occasion for the club on Wednesday night.

“It was a good opportunity to engage with a large crowd and I’m sure supporters who spoke to the pupils enjoyed and benefited from the interaction.

“Our partnership with Hey Girls has been running for almost a year now. We were aware of the campaign developing in wider society around both period poverty and period dignity, which was then driven within football by the team at On the Ball.

“We chose to work with Hey Girls because of the wider benefit to society – the products are organic and plastic-free, and for every one we purchase one is donated to a local organisation, in our case Canongate Youth, to distribute to those in need. Our women’s team are also fantastic role models to all our supporters, so having them involved in the campaign has strengthened the message.

“Our fans have reacted positively – quite simply it was the right thing to do.”

Images: Donna Dignan

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Low pay as a trainee bus driver left me desperate. I skipped meals and ended up £46k in debt
james rossi, who faced debt
Cost of living

Low pay as a trainee bus driver left me desperate. I skipped meals and ended up £46k in debt

DWP ramps up AI use to 'bring the future to the welfare system' and push people into work
dwp mel stride
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP ramps up AI use to 'bring the future to the welfare system' and push people into work

June 2024 payment dates for DWP benefits – plus changes to universal credit
money in wallet/ dwp benefits
Benefits

June 2024 payment dates for DWP benefits – plus changes to universal credit

Archbishop of Canterbury joins growing calls for end to 'cruel' and 'immoral' two-child benefit cap
archbishop of canterbury
Two-child benefit cap

Archbishop of Canterbury joins growing calls for end to 'cruel' and 'immoral' two-child benefit cap

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know