Hammersmith & FulhamNews

Mum supports 20,000 women in her fight against period poverty

A mum-of-two has helped nearly 20,000 women after launching her own charity to fight back against period poverty.

Alvina Appleton, 34, of Hammersmith Grove, Hammersmith, founded Flow Happy in 2020. 

In the past four years, the charity has supported just under 20,000 women and young girls by providing 223,440 free period products in more than 45 locations and 12 boroughs. 

Flow Happy offers bright pink dispensers which have free tampon and pad options available. Currently stations are set up in libraries and community centres in Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Barking and Dagenham, Hounslow, Greenwich, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets and Croydon. 

According to Flow Happy, one in 10 girls in the UK cannot afford menstrual products, while one in seven struggle to afford them. 

Ms Appleton said: “When I looked at the stats, I was completely shocked.

Flow Happy dispensers offer free tampon and pad options (Picture: Flow Happy)

“This became more apparent when working with low-income families whose budget sometimes can’t include menstruation products. I knew I had to do something.”

As a young mother at 22, Ms Appleton struggled to afford basic necessities, including maternity and menstrual pads. 

Her personal experience, coupled with her observations while working in the voluntary and community sector for more than 15 years, drove Ms Appleton to create Flow Happy in 2020.

The charity – which also offers educational and support services for women and girls – has just launched its first corporate partnership with the hotel chain, Novotel Hammersmith.

Ms Appleton said: “We are aiming to cover all 32 boroughs in London, to support the end of period poverty across the capital.”

Flow Happy accepts monetary and period product donations to fund its services and future expansion. 

Pictured top: Alvina Appleton, founder of Flow Happy (Picture: Alvina Appleton)

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