What it’s really like to spend a day fighting period poverty
You might remember the #FreePeriods rally we went to in late 2017. One of the many high-profile speakers was Gabby Edlin, founder of Bloody Good Period. Her whole speech was absolute dynamite (definitely give it a read), but this line in particular really resonated with us: “If periods become secret again, then period poverty will become secret again, and the only ones left thinking about it will be the people bleeding into f***ing socks.”
Bloody Good Period was set up to help “asylum seekers have a bloody good period” but in reality, they do much more than that. They not only provide period and personal hygiene products such as pads, tampons, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes to asylum seekers, but they also advocate on their behalf. Just check out the #BloodyLaundry campaign that kicked off in May 2018.
We feel very strongly about breaking the period taboo, which means talking about the realities of period poverty in the UK. No one should lose out on their education because they can’t afford period products, nor should they have to choose between going hungry or managing their periods. So we left the office for an afternoon to head up to BGP’s Safe Store in North London and help log, sort and organise their product donations.
Our fearless leader Anna (who is also BGP’s operations and volunteer manager), got us up to speed on their system for managing donations and off we went!
When a donation comes in, it first needs to be logged so that BGP can keep track of all the products moving through the SafeStore, as you can see Callaly’s Megan and Claire doing below.
Next, the donations need to be sorted into product categories (day pads, maxi pads, tampons and so on), with loose items being packaged up. Recently BGP requested that people stop donating loose items because they often come in questionable (read: bad) condition and there’s no product information listed on the individual pads and tampons.
BGP’s penchant for a bloody good pun is what initially caught our attention but it’s their never-ending passion for justice that has really made us fall in love with them. We had a great day at the Safestore and we plan to continue partnering with them to fight period poverty – watch this space!
Interested in getting involved? Here are a few ways:
2) Collect! Set up a collection at your work, local library, yoga studio, church, mosque, synagogue… any place your community regularly meets.
3) Volunteer! BGP is fuelled by volunteer hours so if you have some spare time, get in touch on their website.
4) Follow! They’re all over social media so just search for Bloody Good Period on your favourite channel and give them a follow.