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International Women's Day 2024 - Period Positive

Period Positive Week Celebration event
Period Positive Week Celebration event

For International Women’s Day 2024, we’re highlighting organisations in Sheffield that help and provide support to women, trans or non-binary people.

We spoke to Chella Quint, founder of the Period Positive movement, about how her inclusive campaign supports schools, community groups, businesses and charities to help everyone play a role in sharing menstruation and menopause literacy for all.

What does Period Positive do to support people in Sheffield?

The project began with research at Firth Park Academy in 2013. Students were very keen to challenge the messages they received from menstrual product advertising, and they had three requests at the end of my master’s project - they wanted to know everything, they didn’t want to leave anyone out, and they wanted to create a symbol that could be displayed so teachers and other organisations could show that they could be trusted to speak openly and confidently about periods - and so the Period Positive Award was born.

We now have several schools earning the Period Positive Bronze Award, Period Positive pupil champion clubs, and young people creating peer education resources that have been shared internationally! In 2023 we celebrated our 4th annual Period Positive Week where international advocates on period equity came and met with local young people, including our most recent extended partnership school, Sheffield High School for Girls.

We have resources that support organisations to be more inclusive, to challenge internalised menstrual shame, and some amazing brand-new pupil-created interactive resources that teach about the body, menstrual products, media and cultural literacy.

Our curriculum model was launched in Parliament in 2022. The Period Positive Pledge is a co-created framework of best practice for any kind of organisation that wants to be inclusive and at the forefront of period equity and menstrual literacy and one of our aims is to share it freely.

Why Sheffield for your organisation?

This is where I have lived my entire adult life, where I coined the term ‘period positive’ and where this whole movement started while I was a head of PSHE, so it seems only natural! Since then, Learn Sheffield, DECSY, council departments, many schools, and several local charities, including SAYiT and Roundabout, have partnered with us to help make that first group of pupils’ requests a reality. My MP, Louise Haigh, put forward an Early Day Motion acknowledging Sheffield as the first Period Positive City in 2019, and it is living up to its reputation.

As well as working within Sheffield, we are frequently invited to advise on national and international policy about period equity, period poverty, and menstruation education. Our Period Positive Global Network includes partner projects in nine countries, and we all learn from each other.

Do you have any resources for schools or organisations wanting to earn the Period Positive Award or learn more?

Yes! We have a curriculum model, pledge framework, pupil pledge and lesson plans. We also have a number of free printable resources that help anyone of any age, whether they menstruate or not, learn more about periods through joy and play. Finally, I was lucky enough to have two publishers reach out to me during the pandemic and I have written Be Period Positive for adults and Own Your Period for young people in collaboration with local doctors and medical advisers. The books are in Sheffield libraries and a number of local schools, and they are stocked by local bookshops.

We also offer workshops through the See It, Be It programme through the Council, which is a careers education project for schools and colleges.

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Visit Period Positive’s website for more information.