Students at a school in Bicester have received recognition for their campaign for increasing access to free period products.

Students at The Cooper School  recently received a visit from Laura Coryton, MBE, Dr Michele Paule and Dr Hannah Yelin from Oxford Brookes University in recognition of the positive changes they have brought about in their school through their participation in the ‘Tools for Change’ project.

The initiative has been led by Ms Coryton who is renowned for her successful campaign to abolish the tampon tax.

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The project, organised by SexEdMatters and Oxford Brookes University, aims to empower girls and marginalised genders through a free campaigning course designed to debunk gender stereotypes and foster activism.

The students have now launched their own online petition through to campaign for access to free period products across England and Wales, as there is in Scotland.

As part of their involvement in this initiative, students from the the school’s Little Feminist Book Club have launched a campaign focused on increasing the availability of free period products in their school.

Students at The Cooper School, BicesterStudents at The Cooper School, Bicester (Image: The Cooper School)

This included expanding the distribution of free period products to a wider range of locations within the school, ensuring they are easily accessible to all students in need and sharing detailed information about the availability of these products with the student body to ensure everyone is informed and able to benefit from this initiative.

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The students have also had contact with Bridget Gorham​​​​, Health Economics Policy Advisor of the NHS Confederation, who shared some resources and research about the impact of period poverty.

They also got in contact with Monica Lennon, MSP, who successfully introduced a bill to ensure access to free period products in Scotland and at the request of Monica Lennon’s staff, the students wrote a blogpost on the project which has been shared on her website.

Emma, a sixth form student who has been part of the project said: "Students now have access to a range of supplies in school and they are welcome to pick some up from our school reception to stock up for the summer.”

Mrs Kristan O’Flynn, a teacher at the school, said: "As always, I continue to be impressed with the independence, determination and thoughtfulness of our students.

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"They have recognised an issue, spoken to people who can support them and enacted real change.”

Headteacher Dr Robert Whannel said: "Our students’ resourcefulness and determination to make the world a better and more equitable place is inspiring.

"We’re very proud of everyone involved with the Tools For Change project and we know that they will draw further strength and resilience from having completed something so worthwhile.”