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Always is on a mission to #EndPeriodPoverty

March 8, 2018

Brand will donate an estimated 5 million pads to help keep girls in school  

More than 137,7001 UK girls regularly miss school because they cannot afford sanitary products, new research released today reveals.

Studies among girls, parents and teachers were conducted by Always to understand the extent of the issue and one of the more shocking findings is how period poverty is affecting parents as well as the school girls themselves. More than a fifth (21%) of parents have gone without something so they had enough money to meet their daughter’s needs and they wouldn’t miss school. However, sadly, 1 in 10 admit they’ve been forced to send their daughter to school without pads or tampons, knowing she needed them.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of girls know they’re not alone as nine in ten (91%) have been asked by a friend for a pad or tampon because she couldn’t afford to buy her own.

That’s why, on International Women’s Day, Always is launching a new campaign to #EndPeriodPoverty and will be donating an estimated 5 million pads which will be used to help keep girls in school, making sure no girl ever misses a day due to a lack of access to sanitary protection.

From today, for every pack of Always bought at participating retailers, the brand will donate a pad to school girls in need.

Helping to kick off the campaign, Always Ambassador Alesha Dixon said,

“The more awareness we can raise about this issue, the more we can help to remove the shame girls feel in talking about it, and that’s why I’m supporting Always with this campaign. Puberty is a hard enough time to navigate without feeling embarrassed about not being able to afford essential sanitary products, and no girl today should experience that.”

Aileen Nathan, Associate Director Always, who conducted the research said, “These findings show that Period Poverty is a widespread problem amongst school girls in the UK: it’s surprising to see how it’s affecting parents as well as schoolgirls themselves. Always is a champion for gender equality, and ensuring girls have sanitary protection during menstruation is essential to enable them to continue to attend, and learn at, school. We’re pledging an estimated 5 million pads to schools to help those girls achieve their full potential.”

The brand also surveyed teachers, with findings further highlighting how widespread the issue is, with 55% saying they’re aware of girls in their school who are unable to afford sanitary products. Almost all of these teachers (48%) said it was a common problem. And, worryingly, staff think it’s having a negative impact on their school performance with nearly a third (32%) agreeing that girls affected by period poverty tend to perform below average in class.

For the past 30 years, Always has been an advocate for empowering girls globally and it continues to help them embrace puberty with confidence by bringing the Always Puberty & Confidence Education Program to over 17million girls each year, including the award winning #LikeAGirl programme, in over 70 countries

And over the past 15 years, Always has donated over 2 million pads to women in need through charity In Kind Direct and will continue to do so as part of the wider Procter & Gamble product donation partnership with In Kind Direct. Procter & Gamble was recently recognized by the charitys’ Founder HRH The Prince of Wales, with a special recognition award for ‘Greatest Volume of Products Donated’ as part of the charities 20 years of support celebration

Other key findings from the research:

  • A quarter of school girls have at some point been forced to use tissues or cotton wool, or double up on underwear, as they have not had the appropriate protection to hand.
  • 6% of parents have been so desperate to equip their daughter with sanitary protection, they have resorted to stealing on the occasions they couldn’t afford them.
  • A fifth (19%) of parents say they’ve struggled to afford sanitary protection for their daughter. This equates to approximately 373,778 girls.

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Always Press Contacts

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Survey Methodology

We Are Futures conducted research among 545 teachers and school staff in UK schools with students aged 11 and over. It was an online poll completed between 7th and 14th February 2018.

One Poll conducted three studies on behalf of Always:

  • Among 500 UK girls aged 10-18 who’d started their periods, via an online and mobile poll, completed between 15th – 23rd February 2018.
  • Among 500 UK parents with daughters aged between 10-18 who’d started their periods, via an online and mobile poll, completed between 15th – 20th February 2018.
  • Among 1,000 UK women aged 18-55 via an online and mobile poll, completed between 15th – 16th February 2018.


About Always

Always®, the world's leader in feminine protection, offers a wide range of feminine pads, wipes and liners designed to fit different body types, period flows and preferences. The Always line of feminine products includes Always Infinity, Always Ultra, Always Maxi, Always Sensitive and Always Liners. In 2016, Always was proud to announce that all Feminine care owned production sites have achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill. Please visit for more information.


About Procter & Gamble 

P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit  for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.


Editors Notes

  1. 7% of school girls had missed school because a parent/guardian couldn’t afford pads or tampons for them. Figures from The National Schools Partnerships show there are currently 1,967,256 school girls in the UK and 7% = 137,700.


  • Always will donate a pad for every pack of Always bought at participating retailers Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Boots and Superdrug


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