Updated: Jan 6
Gabby Edlin, BGP's Founder and CEO, with the hugest THANK YOU for all of your support in yet another 'unprecedented' year.
Five years ago, I asked friends and family to donate period products for a local asylum seeker drop-in centre. Within weeks, my flat was full of pads. Five years on, and we’ve worked with over 100 centres, getting out over 170,000 packs of period products in a sustainable fashion that suits the amazing volunteers who run them. But we always have a waiting list, and we are always needed - because, as you (should?!) know, periods happen every month.
And anyone who’s ever sat down on the toilet, and had that sinking feeling that yes, they forgot to pack their tampons, will know that going without those products should not be something anyone goes through month on month. Especially not refugees and asylum seekers who are forced into such a hostile situation in the UK, and are only able to receive £39.63 per week to live on. And by the way, if you have a heavy period, like many of the people we work with have told us they do, suitable products can cost a quarter of that.
Right now, a perfect storm is forming for the most vulnerable in our society. Five years on from when I started collecting pads - when we would have reasonably hoped that the tide was turning on a small charity needing to provide this service – we have started to see demand rise again. As well as partners we’ve been working with for years, we’re also supporting newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan, at a time of increasingly divisive and hate-filled rhetoric. The cost of living is rising and Universal Credit has been cut. Organisations around the country are advising us of a further increase in need, and increasing the volume of period products they need from us. So whilst we don’t want to have to exist, right now we most definitely need to.
Your support is absolutely vital, and we are so, so, so bloody grateful. All your amazing donations go to help us do the work of getting period products to people who need them, alongside our education programme which provides health knowledge sessions about basically, anything in the underwear. From sponsoring a period to laughing with us a Bloody Funny; from sharing our social media posts to kickstart those oh-so-vital period convos, to covering the flow of someone who would otherwise have to go without - you're totally bleeding amazing. We are still only a small charity and we can’t do this work without your support - so from the bottom of our bloody hearts, thank you.
Photo of Gabby at Bloody Funny 2021, at Union Chapel London. ©BronacMcNeill / @lensi_photography
At a time when inhumane legislation and hateful rhetoric could all too easily become the norm, your support helps us meet rising levels of need, and shows that love bloody works. Thank you.
We wish you and yours a safe and restful break over the holiday season. We'll be back with determination, activism and always with bloody love, in 2022.
Gabby and the BGP Team - Rachel, Emma, Nikki, Terri, Joe, Elysha Becca, Michelle, Seyi and Dora xxx