Never Ovary-Acting – A Campaign to Tackle Period Poverty.

Period poverty is a real thing. I’ve heard of many schools, workplaces and even local estate agents in Wales collecting and sharing sanitary products, to help girls and women who struggle to buy these essentials every month.  I was therefore delighted when Jemma Hennighan from Machynlleth contacted me, to ask for my help to promote a new campaign that her and her student friends are launching to raise awareness of period poverty and campaign for change.

Jemma has written this blog for Mam Cymru, to introduce herself and the campaign. I encourage you all to follow @Neverovaryacting on Instagram as they have some really exciting plans in the next few weeks…

A period in my life that I knew something was wrong. I’ve experienced it and many people around may have its gives me a series of anger but also guilt as I should have been aware about this, but I was not.

Each month I walk down that aisle in the supermarket. I pick up a couple of packs of Tampax Pearl, Always Sensitive Normal Ultra, paracetamol, chocolate and comforts and there you go £10 has been taken away from me! As my contactless is approved I question: Why did I just have to pay for that? Okay maybe not the chocolate.

You may see some social media posts about this topic. You have a thought, a rant, donate a tenner, share the post and never think about it again. Or you do something about it.

This is exactly how I feel about Period Poverty. Since the age of hitting puberty I’ve always questioned why do we have to pay to bleed? I was fortunate when I was living at home Mum had the cupboards filled for the 4 females that lived in our household and we all had our personal brand and types easily available. However, moving away from home into higher education made me realise the cost of it even more. Each year an average woman spends £492 to have a period, and the average woman menstruates 450 times in a lifetime adding up to over £18,450!



5TH largest economy.

Period poverty exists.

Period Poverty – lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints.

Half of the world’s population bleed every month; it is a natural part of the physiology of the human body and why do we have to pay for it. Without periods there would be no existence on this planet! Isn’t that a crazy thought!

With a period, costing on average £13 every month have you ever thought of the financial strain that can have on household across the UK.

I wanted to do something, I wanted to make a difference to the people who have a menstrual cycle. As Vice Chair of Aston University Netball Club it made me think how many students miss training as they cannot afford to have a period. This is exactly why I wanted to make a difference. After working with the Student Union, I came up with Never Ovary-Acting.

Never Ovary-Acting is a campaign to raise awareness around period poverty and make students and the people around us come to the realisation of how many young people miss education as they cannot afford to have a period. The campaign is run by the Universities Netball Club and our Welfare officer and we want to make a difference to the people of Aston University. Follow us on Instagram @Neverovaryacting to follow our journey and see what we are up to the next 5 weeks!

Jemma Hennighan

A massive thanks to Jemma for getting in touch and we wish you and the Never Ovary-Acting all the best in your campaign. Be sure to follow them on Instagram now as they are about to announce some very exciting news!

If you have a story to share email us at

Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru


One comment

  1. I’ve always been disgusted about the fact women have to pay VAT on sanitary products as they are classed as a luxury item. That is a disgrace. But I would be interested to know how the £13 a month figure is achieved. For most of my life I have had 13 day periods every 3 weeks yet, using current prices, I do not spend more than £6 a month if that. Put in perspective of the cost of so many other things that most people prioritise it’s is minimal. No-one should have to worry about accessing sanitary products but for the majority of people in the country they are not unaffordable and would be more affordable without VAT which should be removed immediately nationwide. Free products should be available for those where there is a serious need but my fear is there is a hysteria being whipped up where everyone will expect them free which is unfeasible. In Wales and Scotland pain killers are available free of charge from the GP. Perhaps funding could be sorted to cover prescription charges for such medication in England and NI. With regards to the fact that half the population have periods and how it’s not fair that we have to pay for the privilege it isn’t fair but sadly life isn’t fair

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