Great British Entrepreneur Awards winner Hey Girls’ operation is expanding further into England, with a successful grant from the Inclusive Recovery Fund to open a My Period dispatch centre in Diss, Norfolk.
Hey Girls CIC was founded in 2018 as a buy one give one menstrual product social enterprise, with a mission to end period poverty in the UK. Since then, they have donated over 12 million period products across the UK – working with over 250 community partners spread across the country to distribute products directly to people in need.
The Inclusive Recovery Fund is a £4.75 million fund to help social entrepreneurs in England, designed to help social entrepreneurs deliver their important services and grow their impact while adapting to the challenges the Coronavirus crisis has presented.
During the global pandemic, Hey Girls has seen an increased demand in both online sales as well as a shift in public sector ordering. Since the pandemic began they have delivered over 880,000 individual home packs through local authority partners. This switch in delivery style replaced in many cases larger bulk orders, requiring more time-intensive picking and packing highlighting the need to grow the dispatch team and capacity.
The grant means that My Period, the English arm of Hey Girls can open a second dispatch centre in Diss, employing a local workforce found from those who furthest from the labour market.
Kate Smith, Co-Founder of Hey Girls said: “Our original dispatch centre’s employment model has proven really successful, employing returning to work local mums – who otherwise might find re-entry to the workplace difficult. We were keen when thinking about a second location to create opportunities in the East of England for harder to reach people within the community too.
The social impact of Coronavirus on people who are already struggling to secure work is growing by the day, and as a social enterprise we have an obligation to ensure our business is inclusive and supports our local communities through both donations and employment opportunities.
We’re absolutely delighted to receive funding from the Inclusive Recovery Fund, and wish to thank UnLtd and their partners Comic Relief, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media Sport (DCMS) without whom we would not have been able to open our second dispatch centre. We look forward to opening our new centre and welcoming our team in Norfolk in the new year.”
By opening a second dispatch centre, the social enterprise is also able to reduce their carbon footprint and can be more strategically sustainable by shipping products from the nearest geographical location.
Mark Norbury, CEO of UnLtd said “UnLtd is delighted to support Hey Girls with an Inclusive Recovery Fund grant to expand their inspiring work to tackle period poverty in the UK. It’s great that they will be able to build up their operations, product sales and impact to empower girls and young women in England.”