CHANGE IS BLOODY GOOD.
Five and a half years after forming the ground-breaking charity, Bloody Good Period’s founder and CEO Gabby Jahanshahi-Edlin is stepping down
She is handing over to experienced charity leader Rachel Grocott, who has led BGP’s public fundraising and communications alongside Gabby for the last four years
The charity’s core mission and work remain the same, with a vision of ensuring that no-one is at a disadvantage simply because they menstruate
As a 4 day/week CEO, Rachel will be championing flexible working and balancing caring responsibilities alongside the fight for menstrual equity.
Five and a half years ago, Gabby Edlin wrote a single Facebook status and kickstarted a period revolution. That status asked for friends to donate period products to an asylum seeker drop-in centre, which had previously not routinely given out these essential items. That status also ultimately led to the charity that is now Bloody Good Period, a small but mighty organisation which punches well above its weight - having now distributed more than 200,000 packs of period products, garnered a huge social media following, developed its own annual menstrual-themed comedy night, and secured a rare combination of both grassroots and celebrity support. With its bold and trailblazing brand, BGP has influenced significant language change around menstruation, launched a workplace programme, and inspired countless other activists and organisations.
Having made such huge strides in an area still often dominated by shame and taboo, euphemism and white saviourism, in just a short five years, Gabby has now made the decision to step down from Bloody Good Period. She leaves the organisation with a strong and skilled staff team - which will be led by Gabby’s former deputy, Rachel Grocott - as well as a network of amazing volunteers, and an experienced and passionate board of Trustees.
Photo: Thomas Minnock for Protein
“We have an incredible amount to thank and celebrate Gabby for,” says Sue Rubenstein, the charity’s Chair of Trustees. “She has really established our vibrant and bold charity, setting an incredibly effective and human, caring culture, of which we are immensely proud. The trustees are all so proud of Gabby for making this decision when it’s right for her, and look forward to working with Rachel and the team as BGP continues the much-needed work for menstrual equity.”
Rachel Grocott has worked on BGP’s fundraising and communications since 2018, when she was the organisation’s first hire, and managed the charity’s social media for just five hours per week. In just a few months BGP’s social channels, particularly Instagram, had grown hugely, a trajectory still in place four years on. From there, her role has grown in scope, drawing on her extensive experience in fundraising, communications and leadership roles for a number of charities, both large and small, including a prior CEO role. Rachel’s fundraising successes include several commercial partnerships, growing the charity’s end-of-year annual ‘Festive Period’ fundraiser, and a record-breaking International Women’s Day fundraiser in 2022. She balances her work alongside caring responsibilities, something which BGP’s trustees are determined to continue to build into a charity founded on feminist values, and will be undertaking the CEO role in 4 days per week.
“It’s vital that we recognise the totality of Rachel’s life and enable her to do this job around her young family,” says Sue. “We all have caring and non-work responsibilities, and the world of paid work needs to recognise that those responsibilities are vital for our society and for our humanity. As a feminist organisation we absolutely have to factor this into how we work.”
Gabby will be moving to pastures new and is excited to take on some exciting creative projects (to be announced). She says: “I decided not long after posting that Facebook status in 2016, that I wanted to use my creativity for good, and see if I could build a feminist organisation that challenges the harmful conventions too frequently employed by the charity sector and makes actual social change through joy, love, and humour. I think I did that.”
Rachel says: “Gabby has been a huge inspiration to me, both personally and professionally. I am hugely excited and honoured to be stepping into her role, and working with an amazing team to create lots more wonderful bloody change.”
Read a letter from Gabby here.