A SOCIAL enterprise which seeks to tackle period poverty has been helping North Somerset residents for almost a year.

The Grace Period Project (TGPP) was founded in early 2023 by social worker Zoe Langford and teacher Nic Goldhawk.

The mission of the project is to provide free period products to charities and organisations in the region who can distribute them to those in need. 

Speaking about the motivation behind setting up the project, Nic and Zoe said: "We’re both passionate about female equality, equity and empowerment and had become increasingly frustrated by the soaring cost of tampons and pads.

Weston Mercury: The project aims to tackle period poverty.The project aims to tackle period poverty. (Image: The Grace Period Project)

"As we began to research, we learned more about ‘period poverty’; the term used to describe an individual’s inability to afford or access suitable period products and the inability to access suitable menstrual education, health care or hygiene (Cardoso et al, 2021).

"A survey conducted on behalf of Hey Girls (a UK period product social enterprise) found that 1 in 10 of respondents had missed school or work because of period poverty. 

"Further, one in eight people surveyed by YouGov (2022) who have periods say it is likely that they will be unable to afford period products in the following 12 months.

"So, in February 2023, alongside our day jobs, we decided to start supplying our local food bank with free period products which had been kindly donated by friends and members of our community in Langford."

Next month, the team will be celebrating the project's first anniversary. They are also looking forward to commemorating the delivery of their 1,000th period pack, called a Grace Bag.

Weston Mercury: Grace bags.Grace bags. (Image: The Grace Period Project)

The team added: "In June we were awarded our first grant from the Sirona Foundation. 

"We secured a further grant from the Quartet Foundation in December which gives us some scope to expand. We have also partnered with the Soroptimists International WsM who have been fundraising on our behalf and have volunteered their time to help us deliver our Grace Bags each month."

So far, the project has received positive feedback.

Nic and Zoe said: "We’ve received some amazing feedback from our partner organisations and individuals in receipt of Grace Bags. The Healthy Living Centre on the Bournville estate in Weston has been our biggest patron of Grace Bags- they currently take 80 bags every month.

"Grace Bags are currently available in all North Somerset Children’s Centres, Weston central library, The Other Place community café and the Healthy Living Centre to name a few."

Over the next couple of weeks, the team will be meeting with the Bristol Women’s Health Hubs and The Menstrual Health Project to discuss collaboration.