England captain and ex-Sunderland star Steph Houghton backs campaign to end period poverty

Girls experiencing period poverty are missing out on extracurricular activities such as sports because they cannot afford sanitary products.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 4:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th August 2019, 2:17 am
England Captain Steph Houghton signs a football for Fiona Eagleson and Angela Lin, both aged 13, at the Always #EndPeriodPoverty event at Future Youth Zone in Dagenham, Essex. Picture: PA.

This is according to a survey carried out by Always to understand what else is being missed by those young women experiencing period poverty.

More than 30% of girls say they have avoided out-of-school activities or sports as a direct result of period poverty, with 21% adding that they lack confidence because they don’t take part in groups or clubs.

A quarter have found themselves in an embarrassing public situation due to their period with no means of getting the necessary protection, while 27% refuse to leave their home altogether because they cannot afford period products.

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England Captain Steph Houghton has a selfie taken with Sarah Akinola, aged 13, at the Always #EndPeriodPoverty event at Future Youth Zone in Dagenham, Essex. Picture: PA.

Steph Houghton, captain of the England women’s football team, is ambassador for the Always #EndPeriodPoverty campaign.

She said: “It’s really sad to hear that period poverty is not only affecting girls’ education, but it is also stopping them from taking part in the activities that they love.

“It was in after-school clubs that I found football and being part of a squad really helped build my confidence, introduced me to a new group of friends and shaped my future.”

Houghton led the Lionesses through to the semi-finals of this year’s World Cup and plays for Manchester City. She began her career at Sunderland.

England Captain Steph Houghton and Logann Knight, aged 14 at the Always #EndPeriodPoverty event at Future Youth Zone in Dagenham, Essex. Picture: PA.

Always wants to ensure that girls have access to period products, even outside of term time, so they can take part in the activities that help build their confidence and shape their future.

The brand is working with charity UK Youth to donate sanitary products to youth or after-school clubs.

Anna Smee, CEO of UK Youth said “A lot of the young women and girls who come through the doors of local community organisations in the UK Youth Movement struggle with confidence.

“When barriers like period poverty are removed, young people can focus on their personal development and education instead of worrying about how to get through each day.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Always on this initiative to support young women, enabling them to grow in confidence and have an increased sense of wellbeing.”