Well, this is something pretty exciting that we would like to share with you.
We now have a Red Box Project in Tokyo! It is mind-blowing to think that a community project, set up in Portsmouth, has caught the attention of a young woman in Tokyo. Kanna, we are so proud to have you onboard the team, supporting young people in your community.
Our overseas projects are growing and it is something we are really proud of. The issues we are tackling here in the UK, of course, happen across the world and our model enables individuals to take ownership of their volunteering experience and set up a project that is unique to their time and availability.
We are incredibly proud to be working with these young women from the International School of Monaco who, through the leadership and confidence-building workshops, run by SheCanHeCan, have put their knowledge, passion and energy into putting an end to period inequality in Monaco.
If you haven’t already, do head over to Instagram and show them your support (@theredboxprojectmc). It is constantly being updated with all of the hard work they are putting into action and we are honoured to have them join us as part of the RBP family!
As our projects across England begin to slow down and close in order to allow the government’s scheme, due to roll out in 2020, to work in the best possible way, I wanted to take a moment of reflection on the journey we have been on in our over 2 years of active, on-the-ground work, fighting the issues we felt so passionately about tackling when we founded the project.
It is only when I have these moments where I take myself out of the role I have played and look in that the enormity of what we have achieved becomes a reality.
Starting a project, you never truly know how things will develop but what I always felt in my heart is that people are inherently kind. This project was designed to enable anyone to take the model and create their own unique initiative that would give them ownership and enable them to galvanize their own communities into action. Our volunteer coordinators are the very best and combined with the kindness shown by communities across the land, humility has blossomed and spread in the most joyous of ways, in our pursuit for equality in our classrooms. It has been remarkable to witness The Red Box Project bring together people from every walk of life.
I started this project when my eldest was just one year’s old and we had around 700 active boxes when my second daughter was born. They have been on this journey with me and I will always encourage them to think outside their own worlds and fight for the injustice and inequality we see every day. I want them to believe that anything is possible because it truly is. I feel proud of what we have achieved. Activism works, kindness matters.
Thank you for making the world a better place and this is just the beginning for myself and so many people involved in making the project what it is in ensuring the every human being has respect, kindness and support shown to them always.
We will fight on for our projects where the government’s support is yet to be actioned! Please join us.
Please follow the link below to read more about the incredible work being undertaken by these extraordinary young women at the International School of Monaco, following the launch of the SheCanHeCan’s Equality Pledge in September.
Please read this article below from monacolife.com:
As many of our supporters already know, The Red Box Project is in the early stages of winding down in England as it has done already in Wales and Scotland. This is due to the respective government’s commitment to providing free menstrual products within all schools and colleges across the country.
Whilst our project will remain open in those areas where we have projects and where our young people are not yet being supported by their governments in the same way, we feel that our decision to step aside for the government’s scheme to work effectively is the right one.
We would like to extend the kindness that we have been shown on multiple occasions, every single day and it may be that projects locally to you have products remaining that would help another setting within your community. If you know of a place or volunteer/work in one of these places then please email Anna and Clegg at our HQ: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would need to have a contact email and best point of contact name which we could share with our coordinators and the public who wish to continue supporting people outside of education.
Our projects will not be continuing and we want to ensure that any products we have remaining go to where they are needed.
Many of our projects are still in need of your support. As we are sure you can appreciate, we are a voluntary run community initiative which means that our volunteer coordinators fit the running of their projects around their own lives. Truly incredible people! They will be in touch with everyone who have shown such kindness in due course and if you would still like to support us, in the first instance, please email us directly at HQ so we can check the position of your local projects. We are hugely appreciative of your support which we think shines through in everything we share. Please be patient with us as we navigate our way through this time. Thank you so much ❤️.
In early 2020, our government in England plan to implement a scheme across schools and colleges that provides free menstrual products to those that need it. The same has already been implemented across Wales and Scotland. So that we can allow for this scheme to work effectively, The Red Box Project must stand aside.
We are now beginning the early stages of winding down our projects based in England, as has already been done in Wales and Scotland but very much remaining open for our projects where this type of scheme is yet to be implemented.
With the above in mind, we have made the decision to stop our incredibly kind monthly donations received through PayPal and at this stage, due to the overwhelming generosity shown by all of you, we will not be accepting any more monetary contributions. We have enough to sustain us in our final stages as well as the ability to support our remaining projects that will remain open.
If you are an individual/business/community organisation etc. who would like to donate products, please in the first instance email Anna and Clegg directly at HQ: email@example.com. Whilst many of our projects would love to receive them, there are some that have enough to provide support to the schools/colleges/youth clubs they work with.
In due course, we will be releasing a list of other organisations including those outside of education that are still working hard to provide the same support.
It now leaves us to say thank you but it does not always feel like enough. For over 2 years we have received support from every part of the country as well as overseas. Hair salons, fire brigades, vets, international companies, law firms, societies and institutes, Girl Guides, shops, police forces, beauty salons, hospitals, large companies, small companies, community groups as well as individuals are just a glimpse in to the plethora of support we have been so fortunate to receive and it really is not an over-exaggeration to say that without people taking the time to email us and organise donation drives and fundraising events we would simply not have been able to provide Red Boxes to over 5,200 settings across the country and overseas.
The legacy of our project is that standing up and fighting for equality can lead to real change. Our volunteer coordinators have worked unbelievably hard, on the ground, to make a difference and they really and truly have. The could not have done this without the passion and commitment shown by their communities. It has been an honour to support our coordinators who are the heart of this project as well as speak to thousands of people via email. Every single email brings with it joy and humility which has sustained us through the busiest of times.
Thank you all so very much. It has been an incredible journey and we are so proud that through hard work, kindness and commitment we are seeing the changes that have occurred this year. Our young people are our driving force. They deserve the best and inspire us every day.
Plant a seed and watch it grow. This is how we view The Red Box Project.
Whilst, it is always at the forefront of our minds that growth equates to need; a need that should not exist in our society, we stand proud that we have been able to provide support to a wide-range of educational settings and youth clubs.
Over 5,000 active red boxes, filled with a range of products our young people know and feel comfortable using.
Each red box tells a story but at the roots are our volunteer coordinators. They are the heart of our project. Fitting in time within their already jam packed day to create boxes filled with love and kindness. The relationships they have built up with members of staff is something that brings us the most amount of joy and the feedback from both teachers and students tells us that we are helping in a practical way.
Thank you to every single person who commits time to being part of our team and to every person who supports the projects in their community. Every single donation makes the hugest difference.
Practical activism works and mix that up with humility and collaboration and you have something very special.
We truly had no idea of what path laid before us in terms of firstly, the magnitude of the issue we were tackling and secondly, the truly incredible number of people who felt as outraged as we were and wanted to stand up and act.
This week is one of our favourite weeks because it highlights the contributions made by volunteers across the UK and is our chance to say to each and every person involved in this project: thank you. Thank you for giving up your time. Thank you for caring so deeply about other people in your communities. Thank you for building this project and shaping it into the joyous and effective initiative that it is today. We have each other’s back and those of the thousands of young people we support in educational settings and youth clubs across the country.
There are no words that would give how I feel, the justice they deserve. I really could not have given my life to this project without the love and support of all of the volunteer coordinators involved in The Red Box Project and you have shown myself and others that kindness and commitment really do make a bloody difference.