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Period Powerful University: Why QUB provides free period care


We’re super excited to be working with Queen’s University, Belfast, to provide free organic cotton period care to all students! We caught up with Tara Woodside who brought the period power to QUB. Here, Tara tells us all about how this came about and why it’s so important.

“Last year, I came across the figures about each conventional menstrual pad containing the equivalent of 4 carrier bags worth of plastic. I was completely shocked, and after some research, I discovered the wonderful products that TOTM created. They are made from 100% biodegradable and sustainable organic cotton, as well as being vegan and cruelty-free. For me, the switch was a no brainer – both for my health and for the environment.”


Bringing free period care to QUB

“I think it is absolutely vital that universities around the world tackle both period poverty and plastic pollution problems. When the opportunity arose to do both, I jumped at the chance! Earlier this year, I applied for funding with the amazing carbon management team at Queens. They helped me start my initiative to provide plastic-free period care on campus, free of charge. This is how the Plastic Free Period QUB initiative was born.

Before this was introduced, I was quite naïve as to how many people this scheme would benefit. On the first day the pads were available, they were completely gone within an hour. We now need refills on a daily basis! The scheme was initially trialled in the library building, but as word spreads, we are beginning to move into other buildings too. The response from students and faculty has been so heart-warming. I have been flooded with messages from students and societies who want to help raise awareness.”


This is just the beginning…

“However, there is still more to be done. I am proud that my university has begun to tackle these issues. But when 1 in 10 girls in the UK have missed school because they had no access to period care, serious steps need to be taken throughout the UK to prevent period poverty impacting on education.

Other figures show that 1 in 5 young women in the UK has been bullied over their period. It is extremely crucial that universities play a role in breaking the stigma. I hope that getting so many people in Queens involved and talking about my project has gone even a little way in doing so.

After the fantastic work from campaigners, all English secondary schools and colleges have been awarded a Government grant to provide free sanitary products. This is such a wonderful step in tackling the issue of period poverty. However, here in Northern Ireland, we have gone over 1000 days without a government. Hopefully, in the future, we too can have this law established, but until then I hope that this project can help as many people as possible and shed light on the cause.”


TOTM’s period powerful university project

We want to make sure all students have access to sustainable period care products. We’re excited to be work with universities such as Queen’s University Belfast and Aston University. If you want to bring TOTM period care to your toilets and get your university onboard drop us a DM on socials or find out more here. Let’s work together to make the future period powerful!

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