The average lifetime cost of having a period is £4800, with the rough cost for a packet of 20 pads or tampons coming in at £2.37. The price of periods is surely high enough in itself, but forking out for menstrual products is a necessity for almost all women and girls, and as period poverty charities and the non-profit Beauty Banks have highlighted, it’s an expense that many simply cannot afford.
Bloody Good Period is one such not-for-profit charitable enterprise and it was founded by Gabby Edlin in a move to establish a sustainable supply of pads and tampons for those that can’t afford to buy them. The charity's roots lie in a Facebook group that grew due to both necessity and generosity and now Bloody Good Period aims to both eradicate period poverty and normalise menstruation. One particular focus is helping refugees and women seeking asylum, who receive a meagre £37.75 to live on per week. This leaves little leftover for not-cheap menstrual supplies, which has led many women resorting to using “toilet paper, scraps of fabric or nothing at all” according to Gabby. Even worse, many women in this and similar positions experience menstrual irregularity triggered by distress, as Gabby explains:
“Periods don’t stop because you’re a refugee, or because you can’t afford to buy a pad, and many people seeking asylum have incredibly heavy periods due to the stress and trauma of being displaced.”
With the help of donations, volunteers and “bloody good people”, Bloody Good Period now supplies 25 asylum seeker drop-in centres in London and Leeds with a “sustainable flow” of menstrual products and the goal is to expand this all over the UK, which is where you come in. In addition to supporting the charity all year round, when browsing the Liberty London beauty and womenswear halls from today until 15th March, you’ll find period product donation stations where you leave full packets of tampons and pads (loose items and menstrual cups unfortunately cannot be accepted).
In addition there will be several cash donation points throughout the store and to mark International Women’s Day Liberty will also be hosting a Bloody Good Debate with panellists including BGP’s Gabby, period poverty activist Amika George and guest host Nicole Crentsil. The event will take place on Thursday 7th March from 6pm-7:30pm and promises to be an enlightening, stigma-smashing evening, with the ticket price of £10 going straight to support the tireless work of Bloody Good Period.
Can’t make it down to Liberty? You can also donate while shopping at Liberty online or directly on the Bloody Good Period website. You’ll feel bloody good for it and help to stamp out period poverty at the same time - it’s a win-win for International Women’s Day on 8th March and beyond.