Be Period Positive is a social action project within Enactus Bangor. The project aims to advocate for a more thorough, consistent, clear and modern menstrual education system to be utilised in schools – aimed at educating all genders on periods to break down period stigma.
Be Period Positive hope to explore everything which their research has told us is currently lacking – from promoting sustainable menstrual products, to educating young people on menstrual disorders which they should know to look out for.
To find out more about Be Period Positive, I spoke to Emma Holderness, founder of the project and 2nd year BSc Psychology student.
What inspired you to start the campaign?
I have always struggled personally with endometriosis, which can be extremely debilitating at times, and I thought that such an intense level of pain was normal for years due to what I was taught (and not taught) in school. After talking to others about my experience, I realised that many felt that this huge part of their life had been merely brushed over by their teachers, or not covered at all. Instead of just complaining (although we still do plenty of that) we wanted to put our heads together and change the current system.
What does it mean to be ‘Period Positive’?
Being period positive doesn’t mean you have to love your period; I know I’m not a big fan of mine! It just means accepting everything that comes with it – the good and the bad – and educating yourself and others in the complexities of menstruation. Menstruation is still considered a very taboo topic, and we hope to change that at least on a local level, by encouraging young people to accept periods as something natural and normal; not something gross or worth hiding. We see education as the key to empowerment, and also regard educating boys as equally important as educating girls, in order to promote empathy, understanding and a sound basis of knowledge to pass on to future generations.
What are the aims of Be Period Positive, and what work do you do?
Currently, in addition to our family friendly social media campaign, we are working towards building a website which can be a hub of our educational resource documents and videos, which we can then present to local schools as a tool of education. We also have our own speaker team, who we hope will be able to run interactive online Q&As with classrooms of children, promoting open conversation and in-depth education in a comfortable and encouraging manner.
What are your goals and dreams for the future of Be Period Positive, and how do you plan to achieve them?
Our long term goal is to have our project advance far enough to run itself, on a wider scale. One way this could work is to reach out to the Welsh Government after piloting the project, campaigning to them to introduce our changes to the curriculum and promote our resources to schools, while introducing university student volunteers into classrooms to help in its implementation.
How can other students get involved with Be Period Positive?
We are always happy to accept new members! We’re really a lovely bunch, currently operating over messenger chats and Zoom calls, but supporting one another regardless. All gender identities are welcome, and you definitely don’t need to be a menstruator to get involved.
To message us directly and express your interest, our Instagram is beperiodpositive, but to join up you will also need to become a member of Enactus on Undeb Bangor, and also register on the Enactus UK website. Joining Enactus is really an incredible experience, giving you access to career opportunities, skills workshops, innovation competitions and an international community of next generation leaders.