hey girls & Nourishing Norfolk

Video: hey girls at The Pantry, Kenninghall

Norfolk Community Foundation has joined hey girls as a community partner to help eliminate period poverty across Norfolk

hey girls is an award-winning period product social enterprise eradicating UK period poverty. Each order made with them is matched with an equivalent donation, and thanks to our new partnership, we will soon be distributing hey girls disposable and reusable period products through the Nourishing Norfolk network. Through Nourishing Norfolk, we support 22 affordable food hubs across the county, with more opening all the time. The food hubs offer local people a space to shop on a budget whilst getting support with life’s bigger challenges.

“There’s such a stigma around periods, and period supplies are really expensive, too. The mix of this means that so many girls and women go without period products. Almost 50% of girls in Norfolk have missed at least one day of school because of their period which is just crazy: periods shouldn’t be impacting on education.”

Corrie Colson, Programmes Advisor, Norfolk Community Foundation

Corrie Colson, Programmes Advisor at Norfolk Community Foundation, was inspired by the mission of hey girls, saying “I love that hey girls is completely barrier-free. That’s something that’s really important to me, because there has been and continues to be such a stigma around periods, so it’s great to see an organisation making access to supplies as easy as possible and smashing stigma as they go.”

After reaching out to hey girls, Corrie took Tori Lewis, who manages supply and logistics for the Foundation’s Nourishing Norfolk programme, to the hey girls’ headquarters in Diss to learn more about the programme, why it is important, and what difference we could make if we worked together.

Tori and Corrie were excited to learn how hey girls could work through the Foundation’s Nourishing Norfolk programme. The hubs get some food donated locally but are also able to order from a central warehouse in Norwich run by the Foundation. Local firm Norse Group has generously provided the warehouse space, and they also utilize extra room in their fleet of vans to deliver food, reducing the need for additional trips.

Tori looks at reusable products
Corrie from the Foundation stands with the Hey Girls team holding boxes of period products. They stand against a printed hey girls background in a distribution centre.
Corrie meets the hey girls team

“Many hubs were already offering free period products that had been donated through hygiene banks and at local shops, so being able to supply them with free products thanks to hey girls was a no-brainer,” said Tori, “With over Food Hubs 20 now operating across the county, we’re delighted to be able to offer each and every one hey girls products. From our centralised warehouse, we’ll be able to deliver both single-use products and reusable ones, like period cups and reusable panty liners. As trusted community spaces where people know they can get the support they need, food hubs are great places to start conversations about switching to reusables. These products not only help people save money and beat period poverty, but they’re also kinder to the planet, too.”

We also spoke to Liz Heighton-Jupp, who manages the Love Downham food hub in Downham Market. Love Downham was born from the Swan Youth Project, which has been running a hygiene bank for some time. A young person who uses the hygiene bank said: “It’s nice to have somewhere safe to get period products, I don’t feel embarrassed to ask for them here.” Anna Foster, who runs the hygiene bank at the Project told us that “our Hygiene Bank here at the centre has seen a 91% increase in the first 6 months compared to last year, which says it all!” hey girls products will help expand what the project can offer, giving people in Downham market better access to period products.

Liz talks to a customer at the Love Downham shop. The shop is stocked with essential groceries. Liz wears blue dungarees and the customer wears a blue denim dress.
Liz at Love Downham
Hannah from hey girls wears a hey girls branded black tee shirt

“It’s great to be working with the Nourishing Norfolk programme to get free period products to those who need them most. Food hubs are friendly community spaces where conversations flow naturally, so they are great places to get people talking about reusable period products. Our missions are closely aligned, and that’s what makes this partnership so special.”

Hannah Cooke, National Free Period Product Provision & Donations Coordinator, hey girls

Published: 04.12.2023