I was very pleased to read last week about Ella Daish –a postal worker in the Vale of Glamorgan-and her inspiring campaign to make sanitary products bio-degradable.

After highlighting how some sanitary products contain four plastic bags’ worth of plastic in them, more than 100,000 people have backed Ella’s petition.

Her campaign has also encouraged people to talk more openly about periods and issues such as period poverty.

Period Poverty is when women and girls struggle to pay for essential sanitary products on a monthly basis, with significant impacts on their hygiene, health and wellbeing.

Indeed, findings from the charity, Plan International UK indicate that one in 10 girls has been unable to afford sanitary products.

Unfortunately, there is stigma attached to menstruation-despite it being a natural and important process- and even today we euphemise and belittle periods.

Earlier this year, I had a debate on period poverty in the Assembly and said that we have a clear responsibility to women and girls in Wales, to develop ‘period dignity’ as part of our commitment to gender equality.

I welcome the Welsh Government’s recent response to period poverty with the announcement that local authorities will receive £440,000 over the next two years to tackle period poverty in their communities, by providing feminine hygiene products to those women and girls most in need.

This can be through community groups, schools or food banks.

And additionally £700,000 of capital funding will be available to improve facilities and equipment in schools.

It is particularly encouraging to note that this funding will be used in primary schools as well as secondary schools, (this is in acknowledgement of research which shows that more girls are starting their periods at a younger age and some primary schools can lack the facilities they need).

I would like to praise the efforts of Welsh organisations such as Periods in Poverty, Wings Cymru, The Red Box Project, the Trussell Trust, and the local Labour Women’s Forum and councillors in the Vale of Glamorgan, who have been working hard since last year, to raise awareness of period poverty-calling for free sanitary provision in Vale schools.