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“If you want to get younger girls into your club, then steps like this are so important” - providing period dignity in recreational cricket

Phase two of the ECB's partnership with Initial will see a further 500 clubs receive free In Cubicle Period Dignity Dispensers.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Initial Washroom Hygiene (Initial) have moved into the second phase of their partnership, with 500 more cricket clubs with a girls’ section invited to apply for the free installation of In Cubicle Period Dignity Dispensers. 

Already, 500 clubs have benefited from the scheme since its launch in September 2023. A further 500 grassroots clubs with girls’ sections will now receive free In Cubicle Period Dignity Dispensers during Phase Two of the partnership. 

Each In Cubicle Period Dignity Dispenser provides free and discreet access to period products within the toilet cubicle at the point of need for those who menstruate. They are central to the ECB’s and Initial’s strategic partnership, which is designed to bring period dignity to grassroots cricket. 

Sessay CC received a free In Cubicle Period Dignity Dispenser during the first phase of the scheme. Sessay CC Emeralds director Charlotte Pipes reflects on what it means to the female players at her club. 

“We’re a tiny village, but a huge club. Our female players travel from as far away as Barnsley, Scarborough, Whitby, and Sunderland. We’ve got 75 under-18 female members and 17 adult female members, so removing barriers to entry for women and girls in cricket is absolutely central to us. 

“Our In Cubicle Period Dignity Dispenser from Initial was installed at the start of 2024, and it’s been a great addition to the club – especially because we don’t have any shops nearby. In the past, if you needed something urgently, it was a five-mile drive to the nearest garage. 

Sessay Women's CC

“The dispenser is really well thought-through. Placing it inside the cubicle is the first big plus. The last thing you want to do is go to the toilet, leave to go back to a vending machine in the changing area, then return to the cubicle. That’s your worst nightmare. So, its positioning inside the cubicle is extremely discreet. 

“The other great thing is that it contains branded products. It’s fully stocked with all the most common, branded items you’d find in any supermarket. Sometimes, if you’re using a machine in public toilets, it might be stocked with the type of things your grandma used 50 years ago. You don’t really want to use those. But this machine from Initial holds all the same items the girls are already using at home. 

“Now that it’s there, I’m sure the girls are pleased. Privately, they’ll be thinking ‘this is really good!’ It just removes a big potential source of anxiety. 

“We’ve fought for equality in cricket for a long time at Sessay. Even though we’ve got seven girls teams at our club, it hasn’t always been balanced. Little things like this help to shift the dial. 

“There have been plenty of times when we’ve been at matches, and one of the girls will have needed something. Now, instead of coming to me and me having to rummage in my bag or car, they just go straight to the dispenser.  

“If you want to get younger girls into your club, then steps like this are so important. By the time girls are in their late teens, they’ve already got their identity and can be quite tough. But for younger girls, they might not know people well, they might feel uncomfortable asking, and they just find the whole thing embarrassing. 

“Our genuine thanks go to Initial and the ECB for joining together to bring period dignity to grassroots cricket. Our girls love it!” 

This limited offer is open to up to 1000 affiliated cricket clubs with a girls' section. Clubs with a girls’ section are defined as having a minimum of one girls' team playing soft ball or hard ball cricket, league or friendly, indoors, or outdoors as evidenced on Play-Cricket or captured via the County Women’s & Girls’ Clubs & Teams Audit in 2023/24.

If you think you are eligible, please contact your Women and Girls Community Development Officer.