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Webinar: Period Dignity and Period Equality in Schools

In 2019 Westminster’s Period Poverty Task Force and the Welsh Government’s Period Dignity Taskforce were established with the purpose of increasing the accessibility of sanitary products and to educate and tackle the stigma surrounding periods. In this webinar, Chris Brown and Simon Burton from phs Group are joined by Sarah Quibell of Powys County Council and Grace Turner of Portland College to share their experiences, challenges of rolling out the scheme during the pandemic and their hopes for its future.

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Chris Brown, Head of Public Sector, phs Group

Chris Brown is a highly motivated and experienced strategy lead for phs and works closely with customers to successfully manage their contract. Chris as worked with public sector clients for the past 15 years and has extensive knowledge of the public sector procurement process. Chris will provide a high level of support and engagement for the contract and will act as the senior link between customer and phs. 

Sarah Quibell, Professional Lead for Education Support Services, Powys County Council  

Sarah Quibell is Professional Lead for Education Support Services for Powys County Council and has been working with the local authority for 10 years, having moved to Wales 18 years ago.

Having supported a wide range of services in her time with the authority, including Highways, Refuse and Recycling, and Catering and Cleaning, Sarah moved to support schools in 2018, where her role now encompasses the strategic development and monitoring of areas such as admissions, data, service improvement, and grants.

One key Welsh Government grants that Sarah has worked passionately on is the Period Poverty Grant. As a result, she has successfully supported young females and families across Powys, through initiatives such as the installation of coin free vending machines across Powys schools, distribution of starter packs to all-female pupils aged 9 and over, and working closely with the Youth Team to reach the young people they support.

Grace Turner, Volunteer, and Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, Portland College

Hello, my name is Grace Turner. I am the Volunteer and Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator at Portland College.

Portland College is a vibrant national college for people with a wide range of disabilities and associated learning difficulties, based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

I have worked at Portland College for 3 years, originally as an Admissions Advisor supporting the intake of new applications before moving into my new role in April. I now work with the college’s amazing volunteers and look into how we can recruit more to work in the many different departments on site. Another part of my role is to work with local businesses to see how they can support our college in a number of financial and non-financial ways.

My role is responsible for coordinating both areas effectively to increase the impact on our charity, to build lasting relationships with volunteers and employers, and to identify and act on opportunities for growth.

Simon Burton, Key Account Manager (DfE), PHS

I joined phs Direct back in 2003 working on the education customers, calling out to schools, and offering washroom and janitorial items, such as cleaning chemicals, paper hand towels, and equipment. I then quickly progressed to working on the larger key accounts which consisted of FM and group companies which required a more complex negotiation.

After a number of years I became a team leader, responsible for a department of 6 working on wholesale and distribution customers which included overseas/Export.

In 2020 phs was successful in being awarded the Department for Education contract to supply all state-funded institutions in England with period provisions and I was asked to take the lead on this contract. This includes the day-to-day interaction with the schools, placing orders, and making sure all agreed KPIs related to the contract are achieved. I have been running this contract now for 17 months and we have already been successful in a 12-month extension, and I am happy to report that I have received zero complaints during this time frame. In addition, I also became the Sales Manager for the floor and oversee all internal sales functions covering a large customer base with spend ranging from SME to Key Accounts. I am part of the leadership team and report directly to the Managing Director, and I am responsible for achieving monthly and annual budgets.

Having been in the hygiene industry for many years I have a vast and wide-ranging product knowledge and therefore close relationships with many suppliers, this has allowed me to keep abreast of any new product developments and innovations.