Period Promise Pilot Project
About Period Promise
With the goal of ending period poverty, the Period Promise was started by the United Way of Lower Mainland in British Columbia. Through research, they found that nearly 1 in 4 Canadians who menstruate say they have struggled to afford menstrual products for themselves or their children. Since then, Period Promise has expanded to other United Way locations, including United Way of Central Alberta.
In 2021, United Way Central Alberta and the Soroptimist International Central Alberta joined forces to launch a pilot project in four Red Deer schools - Lindsay Thurber, Eastview Middle School, G.H. Dawe School and Normandeau School. in May 2021. Students were invited to provide feedback through an anonymous survey. Key findings included:
- 7 per cent said they have missed school or wanted to miss school because they didn’t have menstrual products available to them.
- 4 per cent said their social life has been impacted because they didn’t have menstrual products available to them.
- 6 per cent said they didn’t know where to access menstrual products they could afford.
- 1 per cent strongly agreed that having access to menstrual products has a positive impact on their quality of life.
- 9 per cent strongly agreed that menstrual stigma makes asking for menstrual products difficult.
- 4 per cent said they are more engaged in school when they are confident they have the menstrual products they need.
- 8 per cent said they were collecting the menstrual products for themselves, while 19.4 per cent said they were collecting them for family members.
To learn more about the Period Promise, visit https://www.periodpromise.ca/
About the pilot
The City of Red Deer has signed the Period Promise Policy Agreement with the United Way. This signals our commitment to providing stigma-free access to free menstrual products to employees, guests, clients and the general public.
In support of this, The City of Red Deer launched a pilot program to provide free menstrual products in three City facilities - Collicutt Centre, G.H. Dawe Community Centre and City Hall. These facilities were chosen to ensure there is a diversity in the type of users accessing the program as well as varied geographic locations across the city.
In June 2022, product dispensers were installed in all washrooms and change rooms in these facilities – women’s, men’s and gender-neutral facilities. Providing products in all washrooms provides greater access to products and helps to reduce the stigma around periods. Products can also be taken for friends or family.