Central England Co-op has backed a social enterprise set up to tackle period poverty by stocking its products on its shelves across the West Midlands.

The Co-op has linked up with Hey Girls to sell the pioneering sanitary pads and menstrual cups, launching in 184 stores across the UK, 6 in the West Midlands.

Founded by Celia Hodson with the help of her two daughters, Kate and Becky, Hey Girls sells a full range of period products on a ‘buy one give one’ model, meaning for every pack purchased another is donated to a girl or woman in the local area in need.

A survey by the charity Plan International UK found that 1 in 10 girls or women aged 14 to 21 in Britain cannot afford sanitary towels or tampons and 137,700 children in the UK have missed school because of period poverty.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “Period poverty is something that impacts women across not just the UK but the entire world.

“This is why we are delighted to be able to support a great social enterprise like Hey Girls and its efforts to tackle the issue through its ground-breaking scheme.

“As a community retailer, this fantastic gesture by Hey Girls perfectly sits with our values and principles and our efforts, with the help of our customers and members, to make a real difference for our communities.”

Hey Girls Daytime and Overnight Sani Pads (£3.25) and Menstrual Cups in sizes small (£8.95) and large (£8.95) are now available in selected Central England Co-op food stores:

  • Eccleshall
  • Erdington
  • Lichfield
  • North Wingfield
  • Stirchley
  • Stretton

Celia Hodson, Founder of Hey Girls, said: “Gaining a listing in one of the UK’s largest independent co-operatives, owned by thousands of its members, gives us a real buzz.

“Central England Co-op customers selecting a Hey Girls product in store know the more period products we sell, the more period product we can donate to their local community. Box for Box. Simple – that’s why we’re different from all the other product manufacturers and why our values align completely with Central England Co-op.”

So far the social enterprise has donated nearly 4 million period products across the UK.