Menstrual supplies are not cheap, but for anyone with a period, they are, of course, an absolute necessity.
Sadly, the reality is that they're a luxury that many refugees and asylum seekers living in the UK cannot afford. Many people living in poverty resort to using toilet paper, old scraps of fabric or nothing at all.
Bloody Good Period was started by Gabby Edlin, who decided something needed to be done to create a sustainable flow (pun intended) of menstrual products for those who can't afford to buy them. What started as a whip-round on Facebook is now a growing charity, with a vision to achieve menstrual equity - where the simple fact of bleeding doesn't stop anyone from participating fully in society, or life.
We are now partnered with 100 organisations around the country, helping more women and people who menstruate have bloody good periods.
Recognising the trauma and anxiety caused by not having access to essential menstrual products; our vision is of a society in which asylum seekers, refugees and otherwise displaced people and their dependents have unrestricted access to high quality, free period supplies of their choice.
We believe that this responsibility should not fall on charities such as ourselves, but as part of a government strategy that cares for women and people who menstruate, especially those living in poverty.
We believe that:
The UK has a legal and moral obligation to provide safe, welcoming, humane asylum to people fleeing violence and persecution
Facilitating the personal choices and comfort of the people we work with is paramount
We have the most impact when we work collaboratively and creatively as part of a network of organisations and individuals with shared goals and values
Disruption and challenge to the status quo is essential to achieving our vision
We are at our best when we are inter-sectional; inclusive and diverse
It is critical that we aim to be sustainable in what we do, ensuring products are reliably and regularly available for people who need them so that a relationship of trust is built up, and people can be confident that their menstrual needs will be taken care of.
We always prioritise the needs and preferences of the women and people with whom we work, which for a variety of cultural and practical reasons tend to be for disposable periods products.
We also recognise the negative environmental impact of the plastic content of those products, and where appropriate, seek to appropriately introduce more sustainable options, and all required support to use those options, with a view to playing our part in reducing the environmental impact of period products. Our priority will remain meeting the needs of the people with whom we work, in a way that works for them.
Bloody Good Period aims to no longer exist, particularly in regards to our delivery of products. While we acknowledge that there will be a longer term demand for our education and employers programmes, we believe that providing period products to people who need them should be the responsibility of the government and businesses, not charities.
MEET THE TEAM
All working safely at home/living on Zoom RN
Social Media Manager
Team Virtual Assistant
Leadership Development Programme Lead
Menstrual Sexual and Reproductive Health Manager
Operations & Activism Manager
Director of Communications & Public Fundraising
CEO & Founder
OUR BLOODY AMAZING TRUSTEES
Frequently asked questions
WHO RECEIVES THE DONATIONS?
We work with over 100 partner organisations across England and Wales, getting period products to refugees, aslyum-seekers and those who can't afford or access them.
HOW DO I SUPPORT YOU?
The best way to support is with colddddd harrdddd cash honey! Seriously though. It takes £ to buy products and get them to where they're needed, especially since the impact of the pandemic has driven demand up six-fold. We do it by bulk-buying the products requested by our partners (more on that below), direct from suppliers, and delivering them to partners in England and Wales. This way of working enables us to maximise the number of people we can help.
WHAT ABOUT MENSTRUAL CUPS, PERIOD PANTS AND WASHABLE PADS?
I WANT TO HELP! HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
WHAT ABOUT TAMPONS?
Tampons are simply not as popular as pads with the people we work with. We only give away about 1 pack of tampons for every 500 packs of pads! And we're not able to accept physical donations of any products right now, so plesae don't send us any, thanks ever so.
DO BGP DO ANYTHING BEYOND DISTRIBUTING PERIOD PRODUCTS?
Damn right we do! We raise awareness of period poverty and how it affects women and people who menstruate living in poverty (read our report here). We talk about periods, helping to make them a normal, comfortable topic of conversation for everyone (check out our social feeds). We run education sessions for asylum seekers, refugees, and people that cannot normally access it. We're setting up a programme to help workplaces be Bloody Good Employers. Yep, we are all bloody over it.
DOES BGP WORK IN SCHOOLS?
We don't work with schools or colleges, so unfortunately are unable to provide products or other support to these institutions.
The Government's scheme to provide free period products to all English schools scheme has now launched - find further guidance here.
We are delighted that so many schools are passionate about ending period poverty and are keen to fundraise for us - and we've made a special fundraising pack for you! Here it is!
CAN I DONATE SINGLE/LOOSE PRODUCTS OR OPENED PACKS?
At the moment we're not taking any physical product donations, so the best way to support is right now is to make a donation. (But no we have never taken single or loose products, to ensure what we're donating is top bloody quality, as everyone deserves a bloody good period OK.)
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH PRODUCTS YOU CAN'T DISTRIBUTE FOR USE?
Sometimes we receive old/loose/single/tatty period products, and they of course can’t be given out (cos we're all about helping everyone have a bloody good period), and sadly they can’t be recycled. But they can and have been re-used in a whole variety of ways to get the period chat a-flowing: fashion projects, upcycled art, demos, props at comedy fundraisers, and of course tampon bunting. We got great pics right here. However, we don't have the resources to actively collect and re-distribute expired products, so PLEASE don't deliberately send them to us! We're still dealing with a huge stash of ones we've already been sent, so if you'd like to help deal with those with an art project or something else imaginative, please email us.
HOW DO YOU SPEND DONATIONS?
Where we give examples how your donations can help (e.g. here), those examples are based on: