St Augustine’s Priory wins TES Student Initiative of the Year

TES Independent School Awards 2020

We were delighted when, last Friday, 7th February, St Augustine’s Priory won the TES Student Initiative of the Year at the TES Independent School Awards 2020.

A Priory 6 student initiative to tackle period poverty captured the judges’ attention. Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets or handwashing facilities. It is a problem that means one in 10 girls misses out on school because she cannot afford sanitary products.

Nell Dobson and Molly Agnew, whose initiative this was, enjoyed attending the awards ceremony with Ms Hagerty at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.  They founded their pressure group, Preventing Period Poverty, to raise awareness of the issue and play their part in preventing period poverty, great exemplars of our belief in the power of the individual to make a difference in the world.

Preventing Period Poverty adds its voice to lobby the UK government to change the policy that makes tampons and feminine hygiene products subject to VAT. Through the group’s activities, the students have gathered 8,500 followers on Instagram and made valuable links and collaborations with suppliers and local businesses.

One of the partnerships involved Preventing Period Poverty working with jewellery makers to support the work of homeless shelters. From this collaboration, a necklace – dubbed the Bleeding Heart – was created, and 60 per cent of the sales profits will be used to distribute sanitary products to homeless shelters across the UK.

Another company that the St Augustine’s girls work with is Flowcup, which is now donating one menstrual cup to women in Africa for every cup sold. As part of their outreach activities, representatives of the Preventing Period Poverty group spoke on a panel at a Women of Power event in London.

Being awarded the Student Initiative of the Year for Preventing Period Poverty coincided with Wellness Week at St Augustine’s Priory, a week of activities including workshops and talks celebrating the wholeness of the human being through a focus on ‘Women’s Rights:  Taking Action’ of which Preventing Period Poverty is such a vital factor.

Congratulations to Nell and Molly on their award for such a superb initiative.