Free Periods


To break down the taboo surrounding periods and providing free products in RUSU.


  1. Provide free products in RUSU
  2. Start conversations about periods and period poverty
  3. Inform students about sustainable options


  • Free products

    RUSU provided products for Spring Term of 2018-19 but we are pleased to announce that the University have funded products for the next two years (until 2021)! If you need a sanitary towel, then pop unto RUSU to grab one.

  • Students trialled sustainable options

    In 2018-19 we gave 10 students the change to trail some affordable, sustainable products. Read their reviews down the page – you may be convinced to try something new!

  • Taboo

    If only we could break the taboo in one year! Remember to keep having open conversations about your period to try and break this stigma.

A big part of this campaign is about having open conversations about periods and how issues surrounding it affect individuals locally and globally.

The ultimate belief is that periods should not be costing women* money or be the reason we struggle with finances or miss out on our education. Free Periods was created to see the end of this by making RUSU a place where we provide free period products. From the launch of this campaign there will be baskets in reception where you can pick up pads and tampons for when you need them.

*Note: In this campaign – on the campaign webpage, posters and social media posts - we may often refer to women or girls, but we would like to acknowledge that some trans males as well as some intersex and non-binary individuals also menstruate, and that these conversations about menstrual products and related topics do not only affect cis females!


  • Jan

    Awareness Stand

    RUSU lower foyer

    Pop by during lunchtime to learn more about periods and how it can impact our education, our health, the environment and human rights.

  • Jan

    Zimpower Workshops Run By Enactus Reading

    RUSU Boardroom

    Come to our 30minutes workshops to learn about what Zimpower are doing to tackle period poverty overseas and how you can get involved at Reading!

Product trial

In December 2018, Nozomi (2018/19 Diversity Officer) put out an open call to all UoR students on her social media channels for volunteers to trial affordable sustainable period products. We purchased some affordable sustainable products for the students and asked them to write articles about their experiences of using these products over winter break.

Find out what our testers thought!

Where did the idea come from?

There is a lot of evidence that girls and young women struggle with period poverty and we are all aware of the environmental costs of some of the products. Here is what we found: