Teenagers advise government as period poverty campaign goes national

Apr 27, 2019

THE TEENAGE girls who inspired the
decision by Milton Keynes Council to provide sanitary towels and tampons to
schoolgirls across the borough are now advising the government on taking the
initiative nationwide.

Teenagers Paige Pilkington and Megan
Head travelled to Westminster to meet Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster  and  Nadhim Zahawi, the Children and Families
Minister.

Paige , a student at Milton Keynes Academy, began the Girl Pack campaign as a 13-year-old when she began giving out her own products for friends to use when she noticed they were not coming into school when on their periods.

Pictured: Paige (left) and Megan with MP Mark Lancaster at Westminster

Girl Pack brought the issue to the
attention of former Milton Keynes mayor Cllr David Hopkins who gave a
passionate speech before a motion was passed for Milton Keynes Council to
provide tampons and sanitary towels to schoolgirls.

Now the  Department for Education has asked for the
girls’ advice and Paige and Megan are hoping to make a difference nationally
and end period poverty for good.

 “I’m very proud of how far we
have come but, although the government will be putting sanitary products in
schools as of September, girls still need access to sanitary products at
weekends and holidays,” said Paige. “Girl Pack will carry on supplying to the
schools, food banks and community areas and I am looking forward to exploring
other options outside of Milton Keynes.” 

Milton Keynes became the first
authority in England to issue sanitary towels and tampons in schools when it
passed the motion in September last year, a month after the Scottish government
launched a similar scheme.

Mr Lancaster said: “I am pleased the
Department for Education has asked the girls for their advice and feedback on
what more can be done to support girls facing these issues. Girl Pack are
amazing campaigners who have already done excellent work, and I know they’ll
continue to do Milton Keynes proud in the future.”

Paige’s co-campaigner Megan said: “We
are immensely proud to be part of the process that will enable girls to access
free sanitary wear in schools. The whole experience has been amazing and we
look forward to working with MPs to make it work in and out of school.”

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