As a familiar chill fills the air, the leaves start to turn shades of orange and red and supermarkets start to prematurely stock mince pies (seriously guys, it’s not even Halloween yet), it seems about time for an autumnal update on everything A Bloody Good Cause has been doing since our last campaign closed back in April!
As you may remember, campaign #11 went out with a bang as we closed with our first ever quiz event and a very successful clothing collaboration. Ordinarily, the next step would have been to take a little break and get started on campaign #12, but life got in the way…
Worry not though, readers, while we haven’t been beavering away on another specific campaign, we haven’t been idle – in fact, we have loads of things to update you on and, fingers crossed, a whole new direction for our work in the future.
When we aren’t in the midst of a campaign, we still get donations from individuals in the community and this is really helpful for those emergency situations when shelters/organisations reach out during our ‘off season’ period. However, at the end of April we were lucky enough to receive the biggest donation we have ever had – a massive £1,000 from the Rotary Club of Hitchin Priory!
This was donated to us by the club’s first female president, Susan Hill-Bird, who has shown a longstanding commitment to bettering the lives of women in the local community and beyond.
With this money, we will be able to supply women in Hertfordshire with products for a long time to come and we really cannot thank Susan and the Rotary Club of Hitchin Priory enough for their generosity and support.
If you’d like to learn more about Rotary and what they do, you can read more here.
In June, a lovely lady called Roz reached out to us via Instagram. Roz owns a menstrual product company called Tsuno in Australia, which had surplus stock in the UK after their initial launch, and she said that she would be happy to donate as much of it as we wanted for just the cost of delivery! To find out more about Tsuno, click here.
Thanks to Roz, we now have the great wall of Tsuno in my garage and we have been able to donate so much of this eco-friendly (even the wrappers are biodegradable) product to organisations across Hertfordshire and London. A win for period product access and a win for the environment!
Finally, we’d just like to give a special mention to Sarah Carr, who contacted us a couple of weeks ago to donate menstrual products and a whole variety of other toiletries, which we will be passing on to a good home as soon as possible.
If you’d like to make a donation to us, you can find all the ways to do so here.
Our donations work in a variety of ways – sometimes we’re contacted directly to start collections or donate surplus stock, other times we see organisations making pleas for donations via social media and, occasionally, we make speculative enquiries to organisations we know to see whether we could provide menstrual products to their service users.
The last five months have been no different and we have donated products to the following organisations:
- Sufra (who we have worked with in the past);
- Stevenage Borough Council (for their Community Safety Team to distribute);
- Stevenage Haven;
- The Red Box Project Stevenage; and
- Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire in Letchworth.
We hope to do more work with the Red Box Project Stevenage in future (shout out to Geraldine Strohm), especially once the Government start supplying menstrual products to schools and they transform into their new project in 2020.
As long-time supporters will know, we’ve been working on ABGC since July 2015 and most of our work has been very hands on. We campaign against period poverty and collect donations in and around our day jobs, carrying out three big projects a year and often working with a few organisations at a time, to ensure that donations get to as many people as possible.
We have always loved working this way, because we have direct contact with the donors, the organisations and sometimes with the people who benefit from the products themselves. We love to know exactly where donations are going and we love hearing the stories of the resilient women who use the services of the organisations we get to know.
In September, we found out that we had been nominated and shortlisted for a Pride of Stevenage Award in the ‘Caring’ category. As Stevenage girls born and raised, this was a massive honour and we were thrilled to attend the event and find out more about the work people were doing across the local community.
If you follow us on social media, you won’t be surprised to know that we won!! We are so grateful to the judging panel for recognising our work and hope that we can continue to make Stevenage proud 😊
So, what does the future hold for ABGC?
We don’t have a specific campaign lined up with a shelter at the moment, simply because we have so much surplus stock that we don’t necessarily need to request donations or crowdfund for more! But we will continue to keep you all updated on who we’re donating to via social media and, if anyone reading knows of an organisation which could benefit from some menstrual products for their service users, you should definitely get in touch.
Over the last week or so, we have also started on our new mission to get donation boxes into GP surgeries. There are lots of surgeries across Stevenage and, generally, everyone has one fairly nearby, so we thought this was the perfect public space in which to have a supply for those who need it. We currently have boxes in Symonds Green Health Centre and King George Surgery, and will hopefully be expanding across the town by the end of the year.
On another note, we are one of the projects to have been approached by the Department for Education’s ‘Period Poverty Taskforce’ in order to join their stakeholder group. The Taskforce aims to work on three levels:
- Access for All;
- Stigma & Education; and
- Research & Data.
We are looking forward to hearing more about how this Taskforce is going to tackle period poverty across the country and will hopefully be able to lend a voice to the important work they will be doing.
Well, that’s all for now, but we hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of what we’ve been up to and you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out more (admittedly at a faster rate than I’m producing update blog posts).
Thanks for reading,