Pictured from left to right: Jonny Birdsall (Tesco Store Manager), Jackie Hayhow (Cumberland FA Deputy Safeguarding Champion), Kelly Cromie (Tesco Community Champion) and Helen Aitchison (Cumberland FA Football Development Officer)
Cumberland FA have joined forces with Tesco in Carlisle and Workington along with Period Poverty North Cumbria to provide ALL affiliated girls teams (from U12 to U18) with a starter period product pack for training and match days.
Most girls get their first period when they're between 10 and 15 years old. The average age is 12, but every girl's body has its own schedule. Changes in the body's hormone levels before the period can also cause physical and emotional changes.
With 50% of the population expected to experience periods once a month (depending on their age), it is highly likely that girls playing youth football across the county will have to deal with this at some point when they’re training or playing football.
Helen Aitchison, Football Development Officer for Cumberland FA, says “We’re delighted to coordinate with our partners to provide a starter pack for period products for girls teams across the county. With many male coaches volunteering in the girl’s game, we want to make it as simple as possible to provide support to girls when they need it, so they know there are products available in the team kit bag at each training session and match day.”
Every team playing from Under 12s to Under 18s in Cumberland will be provided with a starter pack, to include 2 packs of pads, 2 packs of wipes, 2 packs of knickers (depending on age of group) and 1 pack of Nappy sacks for spoiled underwear. The starter pack will be provided in a boot bag supplied by Cumberland FA.
This project is not only to provide for girls who experience periods at training and matches; but amidst the cost-of-living crisis, 1 in 4 girls are struggling to afford period products and nearly 1 in 5 report being able to afford period products at all since the start of 2022 (Data from Plan International).
Through this partnership we’re delighted to provide ALL affiliated girls teams with a starter pack to break down this barrier as well as raise the awareness of the importance of supporting the players not just on the pitch but off it too.
Periods are still often seen as a taboo subject and one that can create embarrassment, so by breaking down the barrier of availability of products, girls won’t need to go without or ask around. They can go direct to the kit bag without worrying and get the period products they need. There are a number of links below to find out more about how periods can affect girls both physically and emotionally.
Ann Crook says Period Poverty North Cumbria are delighted to support the initiative “There are so many young people in our community that are struggling. Having access to free period products during their football training and practice is fantastic. We pride ourselves in running our community project supporting those in need with dignity and respect.
The campaign will be a great opportunity to raise awareness of the struggle so many face in day to day living. Raising awareness is key to managing the support after our donation. This will be one of the final projects we at Period Poverty North Cumbria are part of as our project comes to an end after 4 years.”
Pulling the project together, Jackie Hayhow, Cumberland FA’s Deputy Safeguarding Champion, commented “I wanted to ensure all female teams from Under 12 to Under 18’s were kitted out and thanks to support from Period Poverty North Cumbria and Tesco’s we’ve been able to provide a starter pack for teams which can then be refilled by the Club going forward.”
Female footballers and periods have been in the news recently, with many female teams requesting a kit change from white shorts to a darker colour to help players "perform at their highest level" while on their periods.
Read more from the NHS on Periods HERE
Childline have also created a page to provide information on what they are and how they might affect you.
-Tips to be ready for your period
-Period pain and mood changes
-Tampons and other sanitary products
-Why do periods happen
-Staying active when you have your period
Read more here
Girls Teams will soon be contacted to arrange collection of the starter packs ready to go into the team kit bag for anyone who needs them.
For more information or if you have any queries, please contact Helen Aitchison, Cumberland FA’s Football Development Officer on 01900 511800 or email Helen.Aitchison@CumberlandFA.com