Pupils Take Campaign for Menstrual Health to Number 10 | Epsom College
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Pupils Take Campaign for Menstrual Health to Number 10

Epsom College is one of the first schools in the UK to support a new initiative to improve the literacy, awareness and impact of menstrual health among teens. This week, Epsom’s work with the service took our pupils to Parliament and into Number 10.

Epsom is one of eight founding partner schools from across the UK helping to shape the course. It aims to counter any stigma and shame, empower girls, and reverse diagnosis times for endometriosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, heavy menstrual bleeding and other menstrual health conditions.

The initiative, a partnership between menstrual health organisation Menstrual Cycle Support and charity Endometriosis UK, is free to all schools and teenage girls on social prescription.

Three of Epsom’s Lower Sixth students – Alice Griffiths, Sophie Brittain and Priya Sirah – who are members of the service’s Youth Advisory Board, represented Epsom at the Houses of Parliament this week. They spoke to MPs about the initiative and then were lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes tour of Number 10 Downing Street.

Chris Filbey, Assistant Head: Pupil Wellbeing, said: “Epsom College is delighted to be a pioneering school working alongside Menstrual Cycle Support. Helping our young people to have a greater understanding of the power and impact of their menstrual cycles is long overdue. Improving levels of menstrual health literacy and awareness has the potential to significantly improve the lives, health and mental wellbeing of teenagers across the UK. We are very proud that several of our students had the opportunity to take part in a focus group and thus directly influence the design of this programme.”

The partnership is clinically backed, peer-reviewed and evidence-informed. It is available through GP surgeries across the UK on social prescription, though anyone can ‘self-refer’ and take the course now on the Menstrual Cycle Support website.

Kate Shepherd Cohen, founder and chief executive of Menstrual Cycle Support, said: “Young people have the right to understand what is normal when it comes to their bodies. Menstrual literacy improves confidence to chart our cycles, adapt our lives according to the different phases and, crucially, talk about our cycles with clinicians.”