A leading Scottish not-for-profit said its battle to end period poverty is not yet over after it was named Social Enterprise of the Year at a ceremony in Holyrood, Edinburgh.
Hey Girls UK won the coveted award at the Social Enterprise Scotland Awards at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, November 1.
The win comes just three years after the not-for-profit – which tackles period poverty across the UK and Australia – was named the “one to watch” at the UK Social Enterprise Awards in 2019.
Celia Hodson, Founder and CEO of Hey Girls, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been given such a prestigious award.
“Such recognition is a significant help in our fight to boosting period dignity schemes across the country and ensuring no-one has to experience the horrors of period poverty ever again.
“To receive the recognition from Social Enterprise Scotland and the other incredible not-for-profits present at the ceremony shows we are making real progress in achieving that reality.”
Hey Girls has donated more than 26 million environmentally-friendly period products to community partners since its creation in 2018, with a box of products gifted for every one purchased.
Those partners include food banks, women’s refuges and homeless shelters in every corner of the UK and now Australia too.
A significant proportion of those donations come thanks to businesses partnering with Hey Girls from a range of sectors including construction, utilities and education.
The award win is another example of changing attitudes towards period poverty in Scotland, with the Period Products (Free Provision) Act making access to free period products a legal right for all earlier this year.
Georgie Nicholson, Partnerships and Contracts Manager at Hey Girls UK, collected the award on behalf of the team.
She said: “The pride we feel is immeasurable. We might be a small team but we are so mighty – and we are proving we can change the world.
“To have been given the award in the same hall where the law was passed was surreal.
“This has been an amazing year which has shown governments can act to tackle period poverty, helping make our nations a fairer place to live for all.
“But we still have so much more to do. One in 10 people across the UK are living in period poverty and even more shocking is one in 5 in Australia are living in period poverty. We will continue to fight until that number is zero.”
Chris Martin, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said: “Our winners show the incredible contribution made by social enterprises in tackling some of the most pressing issues we face – from the environment to poverty and inequality.
“The part that they play in supporting people and communities has never been more important, and I would like to pay tribute to their resilience and entrepreneurial spirit as they ensure support reached the communities that need it the most.”
Hey Girls is continuing to call on more businesses to introduce period dignity schemes in the workplace. To learn more about partnerships, visit www.heygirls.com.au
*Lead photo credit: Social Enterprise Scotland