Hey Girls

Celia Hodson and her daughters are the brains behind Hey Girls – a new social enterprise using a ‘Buy One Give One’ model to fight period poverty in the UK in a sustainable way. For every sanitary product they sell, they give one away to someone who needs it.

Through Hey Girls, Celia is also developing free educational resources and online information to help inform and educate boys, girls and young women about menstrual health.

Celia first came to Firstport back in June 2017. Working on her project alone, she found the support invaluable in terms of sharing her ideas and acting as a soundboard. Celia met with Firstport’s Colin McMillan, who helped her to take a step back and develop the social impact of the business.

Celia said: “As I launched my idea and began to develop it into an operating retail social enterprise, it became clear that I was going to face some tough decisions to which I didn't have all the answers to make an informed choice. Colin's hindsight became my foresight. I was determined to move at speed to my delivery position, and what I realised through our conversation was that I needed to take a step back for a moment and look at the wider picture around my business model and the potential areas for social impact.”

Celia has ambitious plans for Hey Girls and the enterprise is already making waves.

Since receiving a £5000 Start It award from Firstport in September 2017, the enterprise took delivery of its first shipment of sanitary towels in January 2018 and are now stocked by 80 Waitrose stores and 228 ASDA stores across the UK. Celia also successfully applied for a Build It award of £25,000 in June 2018, allowing Hey Girls to employ her as their first full time paid employee.

Celia continued: “Period Poverty is a high profile campaign at the moment receiving significant political interest and debate. Although this has helped raise consensus around the need for change in provision in schools and needs for support for low-income families, the solutions to date could create a dependency on Public sector funding from those in need. Hey Girls 'Buy One Give One' model builds a viable and sustainable solution.”