A woman visited four different Morrisons stores to try out the ‘package for Sandy’ code, a period poverty initiative that was launched by the supermarket chain last year
With this in mind, reporter Bethan Shufflebotham visited four Morrisons stores dotted around the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire to see if the supermarket chain’s period poverty scheme really worked.
Launched last year by Morrisons’ community champion, Emma Parkinson, the ‘package for Sandy’ initiative has since been rolled out across 497 stores nationwide, and is designed to be as discreet as possible.
Those who find themselves in desperate need of sanitary products should simply ask for a ‘package for Sandy’ at the customer service desk and it’s said they’ll be provided with the items they need.
In an article for StokeonTrent Live, Bethan wrote of how she tested this policy out in four Morrisons store, keen to see how well this was being properly implemented.
Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here.
As she went into the first store, Bethan admitted she felt a bit ‘nervous’. Although there was nobody at the customer service desk, she says that it didn’t take long at all for a staff member to come and help her.
After she asked for the package, the employee pulled a brown paper bag from a filing cabinet marked with the word ‘Sandy’, taking, in Bethan’s words, “less time than it took for me to reverse bay park in the car park”.
Bethan said: “I was thrilled at the success and swiftness of the scheme.
“If I had truly been caught without a sanitary towel, I’d have been extremely grateful, but instead I explained that I was a journalist and wanted to know if the initiative worked, and handed back the package for someone who truly needed to use it. “
In the second store, Bethan found that someone was already manning the desk. Once again, her mission di lei was successful, with the staff member bringing her over two brown parcels.
According to Bethan: “Each package for Sandy includes two single sanitary towels, which is enough to get your through your food shop and home without a major disaster.
“I thought it was very generous that the sales assistant had offered me two packages addressed to Sandy.”
By the time she reached the third branch, Bethan was feeling ‘really positive’ about how successful the scheme appeared to be. This time around, the desk was slightly busier, however, given how discrete the code was, she had no issue asking in front of other customers.
She added: “I loved that all of these interactions took less than 60 seconds, meaning that anyone fearing ruining an outfit and facing potential embarrassment wouldn’t suffer for long.”
It was only when Bethan reached the fourth and final store that she encountered difficulties. Although the store assistant was again aware of the scheme, after checking the filing cabinet she informed her that they’d run out.
However, overall, Bethan was pleased, writing: “I was half gutted that I hadn’t hit a 100 per cent success rate, however thrilled that it’s clearly a scheme that’s being used by members of the public, and serving its intended purpose.
“I was impressed that every member of staff I asked was aware of the initiative and were able to help me without making me feel ashamed or degraded.
“I’m just really thrilled to know that, if I – or anyone else – happened to be in need of a sanitary towel, Morrisons have got our backs with no questions asked.”
Do you have a period poverty-related story to share? We pay for stories. Email us at [email protected]