The scheme, which has been in operation at The Breyer Group Stadium since the opening game of the season, sees sanitary products made freely available in all concourse, accessible and corporate toilets.
The On the Ball campaign, started by three female Celtic fans, aims to lift the stigma around periods and highlight the issue of period poverty. The O’s have therefore committed to providing free sanitary products for the following reasons:
• To support our female fans, who we believe should have access to these essential items free of charge – just like soap and toilet roll – whenever they are needed.
• To open up the conservation about periods and to normalise a topic that remains taboo. 48% of girls aged 14-21 are embarrassed by their periods. 49% of girls who have missed an entire day of school because of their period, 59% of which have made up a lie or an alternate excuse as to why they are absent. What’s more, 64% of girls have also missed a PE or sport lesson because of their period.
• The campaign also aims to highlight the very real issue of period poverty. According to Plan UK, 1 in 10 girls have been unable to afford sanitary products and as a result, are missing days at school.
Orlaith Duffy from the On the Ball commented, “We’re delighted that Leyton Orient are club 99 to support our campaign by providing free period products for their fans. By being #OnTheBall the club is showing it’s forward thinking and inclusive for all fans.”