Panda Posse

Stirling High School was nominated as the pilot school for Stirling Council to test the roll out of free provision. In May and June 2018, the school engaged with students to determine the best method to distribute period products. Two student voice groups were formed – one for lower and one for upper school girls. Students decided how to implement the roll out of free products. The group was initially dubbed the ‘Period Posse’ but later adopted ‘Pedro the Panda’ as their mascot and became the ‘Panda Posse’. Pedro is gender neutral to raise awareness of the fact that not everyone who has a period identifies as female. The steering group has grown to include new members – including many male students. Product provision was launched in assemblies, and accompanied by a high-profile poster campaign using the panda logo. A whole school approach was taken, with a focus on destigmatising periods and making access fun. Surveys distributed before and after the pilot found that 84% of students felt more comfortable talking about periods after the pilot. The project created strong leadership opportunities for pupils, who have grown in confidence – both discussing periods and in general. 

Products were placed in drawered storage units in all female toilets, as well as PE changing rooms, in pupil support offices, and in a named classroom on each corridor. Although the drawered units are in the public part of the bathroom, strong work has been done to destigmatise access in this area. As the drawers are also stocked with wipes, cotton pads, cotton buds, bobbles, deodorant, body spray, nail files, and tissues, they are easier for young people to access. The Panda Posse also ran stalls during lunchbreaks in the run up to the summer break reminding students to collect supplies for the ‘holiday period’.