23-year-old Alison Wood was moved to take action on period poverty after discovering the scale of the issue and the impact it has on girls’ education.

A recent survey by charity Plan International UK found that one in ten girls, aged 14 to 21, in the UK have been unable to afford sanitary wear. The survey also highlighted that 49% of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their period. Alison Wood is setting up her social enterprise, Lilypads, to tackle the issue.

Lilypads designs and sells reusable sanitary pads and provides menstrual health education. For each product sold, another is subsidised making it affordable to a woman in need.

 I was shocked to find out that this is a problem which exists, and on such a large scale, right here in Scotland. I’m determined to find a solution to make sure that everyone, regardless of their gender, can receive the education they deserve. 

The reusable sanitary pads also provide an alternative for those who want to reduce their environmental impact. On average, each pack of reusable pads prevents the use of 500 disposables, minimising environmental waste. The reusable pad is manufactured using natural materials and is biodegradable.

Alison started developing her idea whilst at university and has been working with Firstport for business support, including help to set up the legal structure for her business. She was also recently awarded a £5000 Start It grant to help get Lilypads off the ground.

The product will be ready for market in the New Year and then Alison plans to look at growing the company and increasing their social impact.

We have big plans for the future and have been busy building collaborations with other organisations, to make sure that we’re able to provide products to all women who can’t afford them.

Are you aged 16-26 with a passion to make a difference? Pounds for Purpose can help! Why not try out your idea, with awards of £500 to get going…Find out more