Clegg is Co-founder of the Red Box Project – a national community-based initiative which aims to support young girls throughout their periods. He and two friends launched the scheme in March 2017 to give young people in their local area access to menstrual products.
After reading about ‘Period Poverty’ in the news, they decided to take action and contacted several secondary schools in Portsmouth to ask if a constantly stocked box of menstrual products would be welcomed. Feedback from teachers suggested that the issue was significant, and resources were needed.
Recognising that the need was nationwide, they invited individuals from across the country to be a part of the movement.
People began to group together, setting up Red Boxes filled with tampons, pads, tights, and underwear that were then delivered to local schools.
Clegg has also worked with one of the UK’s air ambulances and sat on the operations committee of a voluntary outreach group that supports the homeless and vulnerable within the city of Portsmouth.
His work on raising awareness of Period Poverty and campaigning for free period products has contributed to the take-up seen so far for the Department for Education’s Period Product scheme, which launched in January last year.
Clegg said, “I’m proud to have been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list with an MBE for services to education recognising myself and my fellow co-founder, Anna Miles, for tackling period poverty in education through the Red Box Project.
“I was shocked and humbled by the honour and never expected to see my name on an honours list.”
In addition to Clegg’s MBE, two other Wiltshire residents, Peter Lamont and Colin Elford, have been awarded BEMs (British Empire Medals.)
Peter, from Melksham, is a Volunteer and Expedition Assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze, Silver and Gold Award Scheme. He received his medal For services to Young People.
He has been personally responsible for the development of thousands of children, many of whom have learning and personality difficulties. This has required him to provide a unique one-to-one mentorship.
Furthermore, Peter has been a COVID-19 NHS volunteer since April 2020.
He said, “I was humbled and very surprised to receive the honour, and it still hasn’t sunk in, but it’s not just about me. I’m part of a small group of volunteers with who, over the last 16 years, I’ve been involved, have trained, and assessed over 3000 young people to pass the expedition element of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme at bronze, silver and gold levels.
“As I now understand, I was nominated by my boss, at work, last year (who I thought was putting me in for a work commendation) and I had no idea it was for an award from the Queen!”
Finally, Colin Elford from Salisbury – a Wildlife Ranger for Forestry England – was awarded the BEM for services to Forestry.
Over more than 25 years he has accumulated an intimate knowledge of the woodlands in his care – a patch which covers parts of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset – and how natural processes operate which has helped him maintain and enhance a very precious resource for future generations to enjoy.
He is a passionate advocate for the active management of woodlands – often extolling how they can be vibrant with nature yet also provide solace and enjoyment for the public and sustainable timber supplies for the economy.
Colin said, “The job is the best in the world – it’s something I love, and I’ve put my heart and soul into it.
“I’m retiring in August and it’s just a nice feeling to know that someone has noticed your work. It’s also nice that it happened while my mum and dad are still alive, so they can share in it as well!”