The Make a Difference Challenge in the House of Commons

It’s been another amazing year with the Make a Difference Challenge mobilising 1,744 children from KS2 classes across the UK to identify, research and address a cause or concern that they wanted to do something about. Projects ranged from tackling discrimination faced by the LGBT community to reducing plastics in our oceans, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the passion and maturity shown by the children in pursuing their campaigns.

Year 6 pupils at South Hetton Primary School in County Durham even managed to take their campaign ‘Period Problems and Poverty’ all the way to the House of Commons.

Pupils had been concerned to learn that women living in poverty often have to choose between buying food and buying sanitary protection when they have their period. The year 6 class were determined to take on this important issue so decided to create ‘pants packs’. Using posters, leaflets and an interview on Heart radio, the children spread the word, asking for donations of wet wipes, hand sanitizer, tampons and sanitary towels to create their packs. They set up donation stations in the local doctor’s surgery, church and shops and wrote letters to supermarkets asking for their support.

The impact of the project has been incredible. The children received so many donations they were able to create hundreds of ‘pants packs’ which they donated to Peterlee Food Bank to help those in need. News of their project reached the House of Commons via local MP Grahame Morris, who heard about the children’s campaign on social media and tabled a questions for the Minister for Women and Equalities ‘Isn’t it outrageous in 2018 that period poverty exists at all?’.

MP Grahame Morris praising South Hetton’s Make a Difference Challenge in the House of Commons.

The donation stations set up during the project will continue to collect items for Peterlee Foodbank so the project is set to continue long after the Year 6 children have left the school.

Easington MP Grahame Morris said:

“The students of South Hetton Primary should be immensely proud of the positive impact they have had in their local community. The pupils demonstrated remarkable maturity and social awareness in developing their Period Problems and Poverty campaign. South Hetton Primary school’s campaign has been taken up nationally and I hope it will inspire others to participate in the Make a Difference Challenge.”

Find out more and get your school involved by taking on the Make a Difference Challenge.