Former teacher launches Period Positive week to help Sheffield students
A teacher-turned-campaigner who is aiming to help end period poverty has run the first ever Period Positive Week in Sheffield.
Chella Quint said she decided she wanted to do something to help her students debunk myths about periods and learn more about the sanitary products that are available.
She said: “Young people deserve to learn about all the different products out there, and to learn about more than just products.
“Pupils want the biology of the cycle, the myths and taboos, and I want them to be equipped to avoid negative influences on periods and other consumer issues they’ll make decisions about in future.”
To help address this, Chella launched the first ever Period Positive Week – which runs this week – which offers advice and support for students.
The week includes a themed day for every day of the week; ‘myth busting Monday’, ‘teaching Tuesday', 'wellbeing Wednesday’, ‘taboo-breaking Thursday’, ‘funny Friday’, ‘Signal-boost Saturday’ and ‘Self care Sunday’.
Chella is also encouraging other people and organisations to help her in her positive period mission.
To do so, she has created a symbol for people to use to signify to young people that they feel comfortable talking about the issue with students and young people who would like help. The symbol is a smiling blood droplet.
Chella said: “Pupils asked for a symbol that would let them know they could talk to someone about periods. With their support, I created the easily recognisable smiling blood droplet logo.”
“It’s a positive sign to young people and others seeking menstruation support that even though some adults may still feel uncomfortable talking about periods, there are plenty of teachers, schools, charities and companies out there who are committed to learning how to change this.”
The logo is now a charter mark that can be earned and displayed as a symbol of knowledge and confidence when addressing period poverty.
Chella added: “I’m so grateful that colleagues both near and far want to learn more too, they want to be confident teachers of the subject just like every other school subject and they want to learn from a collective and share best practice.
“There are a lot of teachers and organisations creating high quality materials that kids like and learn from, but there are also some corporate schemes with hidden advertising built in, and a lot of old resources still floating around with outdated ideas.
“This isn’t helping young people to make informed choices or trust adults to get it right. Signing up to the The Period Positive Charter is a supportive way to show you want to bust taboos, support young people, and help end period poverty long term.”
Chella has already also had input into government calls for expertise on Relationships and Sex Education and Period Poverty, but she feels they aren’t doing enough.
She said: “Period poverty isn’t just about financial poverty – it’s a poverty of knowledge and confidence. Offering free products isn’t going to work on its own.
Chella is calling on schools, charities and companies to adopt her Period Positive Charter.
She said: “I want better for my pupils and for young people in future. It’s about bloody time.”
To find out more, please visit the official website at www.periodpositive.com. You can also search ‘Period Positive’ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Post using the hashtags #periodpositive and #aboutbloodytime.