And so here we are with drive number five! Another double whammy, in which the dynamic duo will be supporting two organisations.
Instead of doing a double drop-off over the course of a weekend as we did last time, this time we’re collecting donations for a specific event, and then continuing to collect up until January for a drop-off early in the new year. As with previous drives, we’re prioritising pads over tampons (though if you do have some ‘pons hanging around that you’d like to donate, send them over and we can hold onto them until next time!).
THE BEAUTY THERAPY PROJECT
The first organisation we’ll be supporting is The Beauty Therapy Project (TBTP), a wellbeing network dedicated to connecting women through beauty and lifestyle. On December 17th, TBTP are running a one-off event supporting homeless women in London. Founder and Director of TBTP, Ebun Ali, tells us that:
Feminine care amongst homeless women can often go overlooked. With little to no access to toiletries and sanitary products, women are forced to move from one unpredictable situation to another and are likely to deal with unimaginable discomfort whilst on the go. They may never feel clean. The Beauty Therapy Project aims to raise awareness of feminine care amongst homeless women in the UK. Our vision is to engage females from across the UK to make a difference this Christmas.’The White Experience’ is an outreach event that will be partnering with amazing brands to pamper around 30 homeless women who will be accessed through temporary homeless shelters in London. Every woman deserves to feel special.
We will be providing sanpro to distribute at the event. Sanya will be going to London to volunteer on the day, along with several supportive friends who have already volunteered alongside her (sadly, Sophie cannot make it on the day due to a prior commitment, but she’ll be there in spirit and in sannies).
The second organisation we’ll be supporting this time around is Community Action for Refugees in England (C.A.R.E.), based in north London. After the so-called “migrant crisis” of summer 2015, Europeans suddenly became a lot more aware of the plight of refugees travelling from halfway across the world to find a better life. With the recent closure of the “Calais Jungle” holding camp in northern France, there has been a lot of media interest in where those refugees will go now.We’ll be dropping off donations the first week in January 2nd, so there’s plenty of time to post us some pads! Naazish Haq tells us about the work undertaken by C.A.R.E., now more relevant than ever:
What is the aim of C.A.R.E?
NH: We evolved very quickly as a community response to refugees arriving in the UK and staying in temporary accommodation within our borough. Our aim is to support any initial needs, from a welcome pack with essential needs such as a change of clothes and toiletries, to any medical needs which our lovely medics cater for. We also provide hot food and just a general friendly face to what can be an anxiety-filled and lonely time. We also track many that leave the facility and we continue support with integration guidance and ‘what next’ steps using the guidance and support of any other specialist organisations we have networked with or can signpost the guests to.
How did you get into this line of work?
NH: I am an Early Years Professional owning and running a local preschool. I teach and manage the preschool which is a lovely close-knit, nurturing setting. I have always worked closely with charitable and community projects and spent many of my weekends, and holidays during school and university, volunteering in varied projects linked to those vulnerable and in need within the community. The refugee crisis in one of the biggest humanitarian crisis of our times and although I am incredibly busy in my day job, I was very keen to actively provide any support I can. I was tagged in a Facebook post (the power of social media!!) on a request for urgent help at this temporary accommodation especially for a young mother who required medical support, but due to anxiety and limited language was afraid to source this. Due to a close group of incredibly charitable professional friends, we managed to provide her the care she needed. This was when I was first introduced to this accommodation facility. At the time I started, it was at its fullest (numbers do fluctuate), with women, children, families and many young males. Using my Early Years knowledge, I started supporting many of the young children there for their short term stay with play activities, and gradually realised the other needs required. Those close to me, friends and family, came together and a community response was created, charity registered and here we are now… constantly evolving and adapting to cater the best we can for those arriving. There are many harrowing stories and many have hope that their life can now have some form of stability.
Who do you help? Do you have many female refugees?
NH: We help all those housed in this accommodation, male and female refugees, families, and on occasion we also have guests who have been in the UK for some time but who are homeless, or who have been housed for safety as a result of domestic violence. This accommodation is a short stay environment and we are there to limit the worry by explaining where they are and what is next for them…. Communication is the biggest element here to manage emotions and liaise with the guests and any official bodies. Overall, on average there have been men passing through. However, this can change and some weeks more women are present – it is an ever changing, unpredictable environment so it is key for us to have donations ready, whether that is baby milk and nappies, men’s clothes or female necessities.
What kind of issues do these women face?
NH: The women arriving are often the most vulnerable and afraid, they arrive often with just the clothes on their back and nothing else. Some have been separated from family in the journey and are worried about what will happen next. They require items such as hygiene products, a change of clothes, and toiletries to give them a feeling of dignity. Naturally, being from varied cultures, many are embarrassed to ask for essential items and can suffer in silence; there is of course often the language barrier which also limits confidence.
Do you receive any local or government funding?
NH: We do not receive any government funding, however, through donation drives and generous community members, we have been able to cater significantly for those most in need.
How do you feel our campaign could benefit your organisation?
NH: We feel that ABGC can provide us with products which are a basic human right for all women. Regardless of your view on this current crisis, they are people just like you and me; awareness needs to be made to their plight and practical steps put into place to ease the pressures already felt as a result of the situation. For those who often wonder how to help, this your chance 🙂 …
As always, we will be collecting donations of sanitary products (and in particular, sanitary towels); however, if you would like to donate any of the following items for us to drop off with Naazish, they would be much appreciated! (Please note: any clothing given must be ready to wear and in good condition.)
- underwear (male and female)
- warm jackets with the winter months approaching
- hoodies and fleeces
- tracksuit bottoms
WAYS TO DONATE:
Send us a Facebook message or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out our drop-off/mailing address for donations.
Alternatively, you can select products to donate from our Amazon Wishlist and they’ll be delivered straight to A Bloody Good Cause HQ at the click of a button!
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for all your support and donations – they really do make a difference!