To mark Period Poverty Awareness Week, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, together with Brentford Women’s Football Club, announced a brand-new initiative for girls participating in community sessions. During the awareness weeek, which educates on the issue of period poverty and the impact it has, Female Football Development Coordinator Amber Lloyd and the Community Engagement department teamed up with Brentford WFC to promote the inclusion of period boxes. They will be available at all free community sessions in Ealing, Hounslow, Richmond and Spelthorne.
For a significant number of females, the lack of access to sanitary products due to financial difficulties continues to be a challenge when taking part in sports. Recent research from Plan-UK shows that three in ten girls struggled to afford or access sanitary products during lockdown. Brentford FC Community Sports Trust pledged to ensure sanitary products are accessible for all participants and are also available to take home.
Karleigh Osbourne, Brentford WFC Head Coach, pledged his support to the initiative. It was launched on the awareness week at the end of May and is now in operation. There are also packs taken by the women's team to games.
He said: “At Brentford Women’s Football Club we want to support all our players making them feel confident and comfortable in the Brentford Women’s FC environment. Working closely with the Communities Engagement programme at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust we are now able to have a period box for us to take to every game and have present at training which provide some essentials for our player should they ever need them.
"This is our way of showing support and hopefully making all our players and staff feel a little more comfortable and relaxed when at the club while also helping our male staff be more aware around some of needs of our players. It is a great idea and something that should be in place at all clubs within the women’s game."
Brentford WFC captain Mollie Holmes added: “I think this is a great idea! It shows support for females currently participating in sports and will hopefully mean that future participants will not be deterred from participating. I love that we can be open and honest about topics that young girls may have been embarrassed about.
"Having made appearances at a few of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s Community Engagement sessions it is clear to see that the numbers for girls’ sessions is increasing and hopefully this initiative will bring in even more girls!”