Source: Auckland Council
The Period Place is a recent recipient of the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board Quick Response Grant. The group was awarded $2959 towards the cost of educational materials and period products for use within the community.
A nationwide charity, with one of their co-founders located in Onehunga, The Period Place is nationally known for its work towards improving understanding of periods and reducing barriers to access of period products.
“Many people face challenges around their periods, not just due to affordability of products, but also having difficulty navigating their period in a way that they want to, and is meaningful for them,” explains Co-founder and COO of The Period Place Sarah Mikkelsen.
“For Maungakiekie-Tāmaki residents, much of the focus revolves around affordability – some are having to seek alternative ways to manage their period (using items like balled up toilet paper or children’s nappies), and are missing school, which has far-reaching effects.”
Community activities launched by The Period Place have included online discussions and physical events, which are focused on empowering people, providing information and forums for open discussions, and providing people with the opportunity to engage with types of period products in-person that they haven’t had the opportunity to before (for example, from small online kiwi relatilers).
“We have a really high attendance at these events, partly because there is such a huge need for knowledge and advice, and partly because people want to learn about things in safe spaces where they feel like they can ask any question without fear or stigma weighing them down,” says Sarah.
“Environmentally sustainable products like menstrual cups and period underwear are becoming more mainstream, but people still lack the ability to engage with them before purchasing them.
“We’re big advocates of the reusable products – they’re cost-effective to manage a period. Above all though, it’s about choice. So if the sustainable option is the method someone wants to explore, then we absolutely encourage them to go down that journey and use us as a guide to help them on that path.
“With the help of grants like this one, we’re able to help educate about those options, and make those products available”.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown, menstrual health products were among those that were first stripped from the supermarket shelves, and so we felt it was important, and indeed well-timed to support this local initiative which has such an excellent view towards long-term solutions,” explains Debbie Burrows Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board Deputy Chair.
The Period Place will use the funding from the Maungakiekie- Tāmaki Local Board Quick Response Grant to foster more open and informed discussions, provide period education on cycles and products, and provide sustainable period products to people who engage with the project.
The project aims to engage with 1000 local residents. If you are working or living within the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board area and want to talk about opportunities to be part of this project, either as a volunteer helper, a local business sponsor, or the recipient of a donation, please contact Sarah Mikkelsen firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 168 3543.
More information on this project can be found at theperiodplace.co.nz