This week, the Red Box Project launched a partnership with the community interest company, Fit4Life.
Fit4Life focus on positively changing the lives of young people aged between 12-18 years old, from areas of deprivation, and also those that are not in mainstream education. They do this by developing interventions not for young people but with young people – giving young people a voice.
Given the two remits of both Fit4Life and the Red Box Project, we’re sure you’ll agree it’s a good partnership to embark on
The growth of this project from our early days to now is huge.
Like us, our volunteer coordinators and supporters would not accept that young people were often missing out on their education because they did not have access to the menstrual products they needed. They stood up and decided to make a real difference to others in their communities.
Looking at the 63775% increase in boxes over the past year it goes to show what the power of practical activism can achieve. Sticking firmly to our ethos and providing a support network which brings together communities in the most positive way, to deal with a serious issue, have all been instrumental to our growth as well as the increasing need from the schools, colleges and youth clubs who contact us.
We are voluntary run and it is down to hard work and commitment that we are able to provide this incredible level of support. Additionally, we never forget the positive effects of kindness and support within our own project.
Thank you to every single person who has played a part and created real change within The Red Box Project’s aims. Humanity at its absolute best.
The amazing Always UK & Ireland and Tampax UK and Ireland have donated an incredible one million pads to us as part of their #EndPeriodPoverty campaign!
In July 2018, the Red Box Project partnered with Always as part of their #InstaPoets campaign and received 100,00 products from the company. Furthering this, the partnership continued and saw influencers go into schools and speak to young people about periods, along with our Red Box Project coordinators, and highlighting the Red Box Project exists in their schools.
Always and Tampax have since donated a further 1 million products to the Red Box Project which have been reaching projects around the country this week and our coordinators can’t wait to get them distributed out into schools!
Thank you so much to Always, Tampax and everyone behind the scenes who have helped organise this unbelievable donation!
As the annually celebrated National Volunteers week drew to a close we shared a video of the testament that our Volunteers are to the Red Box Project.
The amount of effort, energy and courage that they each put into their local projects every day. Every volunteer is playing their part in ensuring that no young person misses out on their education due to having their period.
Finally, a huge THANK YOU to all our volunteers, past and present, that have enabled the Red Box Project to become what it is today!
We are delighted that Philip Hammond has announced in his Spring Statement a commitment to funding menstrual products in secondary schools and colleges, but we argue that this policy must be extended to include all children in full-time compulsory education, such as those in primary schools.
Anna Miles, founder of the Red Box Project said: “This is a testament to the huge commitment of our coordinators on the ground and the unstoppable energy of many activists, in particular, the incredible team behind the #FreePeriods campaign, of which we are very proud to be a part. However, we know from our work, in thousands of schools across the UK, that the need for free menstrual products exists for all children in full-time compulsory education, including those in primary school. We hope to see furthercommitment from the Government in meeting the needs of all children who menstruate, regardless of their age. Every child should have an equal opportunity to participate in their education; this is their fundamental human right.”
Gemma Abbott, Director of Free Periods and coordinator for The Red Box Project added: “We are so glad that the Government has at last recognised its responsibility for addressing this inequality in schools, although we need to see a coherent policy that covers all full-time compulsory education settings, not just secondaries and colleges. For example, children can start menstruating as young as 8 or 9, so it is essential that primary schools are supported. It is also vital that there is an ongoing, sustainable and ring-fenced funding commitment, enshrined in legislation. Let’s take this amazing opportunity to ensure that no child will ever again have to miss out on their education because they cannot access the menstrual products they need.”
Given the limited scope of today’s announcement, therefore, the #FreePeriods legal campaign remains ongoing – and we are ready to hold the Government to account. If you would like to continue to support us: • please tweet Philip Hammond (Chancellor), Penny Mordaunt (Minister for Women and Equalities) and Damian Hinds (Secretary of State for Education), who will be the architects of the scheme, to let them know that you support the #FreePeriods campaign for free provision of menstrual products for ALL children, including those at primary school; and • please do continue to share this page (www.crowdjustice.com/case/freeperiods) and donate if you can!
Thank you, as always, for your incredible support. Together, we have made a real difference.
This is a chance to end period poverty, for all children. Let’s take it.
Today, Amika George, Founder of Free Periods and ‘period poverty’ activist, has announced a new legal campaign to provide free menstrual products to all schoolchildren. The campaign launches with a Crowdfunding drive to raise funds for exploratory legal work and in support of the broader legal campaign, with the requirement that £10k must be raised in 30 days for any of the pledges to be collected.
The Free Periods campaign, in partnership with the Red Box Project and supported by The Pink Protest, seeks to ensure that menstrual products should be freely available in schools to all children who need them. Access to education is a fundamental human right, and Free Periods believes that no child should be forced to miss school as a result of not being able to afford pads or tampons.
Free Periods is being advised by the human rights team at Law firm Hausfeld & Co. This new legal campaign follows the one year anniversary of the Free Periods protest to end period poverty, where over 2,000 people gathered outside Downing Street to call out the UK government’s failure to take action against period poverty.
In the UK, 49% of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their period, whilst 1 in 10 young women (aged 14-21) have been unable to afford period products. In London alone, 80,000 young women 1 and girls are affected by period poverty.
2018 saw significant progress for the cause in Britain, with the Scottish government becoming the first national government ever to provide free access to menstrual products in all schools, colleges and universities, whilst in Wales, the government pledged £1m to address period poverty. In England, we still have no policies in place.
The campaign also launches with a film made by Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lina Plioplyte, featuring Amika and ten schoolgirls from London.
Amika George, Founder of Free Periods commented: “I am tired of the government’s inaction and so, just over one year on from our Free Periods protest to Parliament, I am proud to launch a legal campaign, calling on the UK government to provide free, universally accessible menstrual products in schools and colleges. With support from others, we are confident that we can bring positive change to our communities by offering young girls access to the menstrual products they need in order to participate in their education, which is their fundamental human right.”
Anna Miles, Co-Founder of the Red Box Project and director of Free Periods, added: “We are proud to provide thousands of schools with red boxes of free period products. This is made possible by the kindness and generosity bestowed upon us by local communities across the UK and the hard work of our over 200 volunteer coordinators. But access to education should not rely on the kindness of others. It is time for the government to step up.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP? Share the CROWDJUSTICE PAGE: Share the FREE PERIODS POSTERS on social media and post about our goal.
Here is an example: ‘#FreePeriods launches new legal campaign to make sure that no child misses school because of their period. Be a part of this change. Find out how to get involved here: www.crowdjustice.com/case/freeperiods’
Visit the Free Periods website for more information on the campaign.
WHO ARE FREE PERIODS?
Amika George Amika founded #FreePeriods when she was 17. Now 19 and at university, she has received global recognition for her campaigning work, including receiving a Goalkeepers award by Bill & Melinda Gates, in conjunction with the United Nations, and was recently listed by TIME magazine as one of the 25 most influential teenagers in the world in 2018.
The Pink Protest
The Pink Protest is a community of feminist activists committed to engaging in action and supporting each other . Founded by Scarlett Curtis, Grace Campbell, Alice Skinner and Honey Ross, they organise events and campaigns allowing young people to get involved with real, grassroots activism.
The Red Box Project
The Red Box Project’s Anna Miles, Clegg Bamber and Gemma Abbott The Red Box Project is a national community project working to provide free access to period products in local schools. The Red Box Project has over 200 projects run by volunteer coordinators across the UK and is committed to supporting young people to access period products until the government steps in.
Janvi Patel Chairwoman and co-founder of Halebury , a pioneering NewLaw firm, and advisory board member of Equality Now.
For further information on the campaign, please contact Amika George at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Red Box Project started 21 months ago, in Portsmouth, and now has
2,000 active Red Boxes in schools and other educational settings across the UK,
ensuring young people have access to menstrual products whenever they need them
– no questions asked.
How does it work?
The Red Box Project encourages individuals in the local community to
support a Red Box in a school near them, working together to keep it filled
with period products and spare underwear.
The Red Box is easily accessible through appropriate members of staff
and plain bags are included for discretion. Posters placed in lavatories and changing rooms signpost the box, its
contents and location. Access to the Red Box is available to everyone, no
Open discussions are encouraged between teachers and students about the
subject of periods generally, and the availability of period products via the
Red Box specifically.
Why is it needed?
Period poverty is prevalent. The latest research from children’s charity Plan International UK
reports that one in 10 young women (aged 14-21) have been unable to afford
period products. And poverty is just one issue that may affect a person’s access to period products. There
are varied social and cultural reasons why products might not be available at
home, many of which are linked with the stigma that persists around
Overstretched teachers already take on the responsibility of helping
pupils in need and schools keep small stocks of menstrual items for
emergencies. The problem is that limited
budgets mean they are usually able to hand out just a couple at a time,
sometimes even having to charge students per product.
The Red Box supports young people throughout their period with as many menstrual
products as they need, plus the added reassurance of a few left over to prevent
a panic next month. Of course, periods happen during the school holidays too
and so students are encouraged to take extra for times when school is closed.
Coordinators also place Red Boxes in appropriate settings such as youth
clubs, libraries and church halls which are accessible all year round. This is
what makes the project special.
What is the impact?
No tearful panics in the loo. No
wrapped-up toilet roll. No anxious
embarrassment. No missed lessons or
staying at home.
No missed education.
The Red Box Project is powered by community kindness and focused solely
on supporting young people. It is designed
to be a simple, no frills scheme to meet a need with minimal fuss.
Castle View Academy in Portsmouth has said since the scheme was introduced it had helped increase attendance levels by nearly a third. [https://goo.gl/ki7tV5]
Anna Miles, Co-founder of the Red Box Project, commented:
“A young woman’s education will shape her future. We are determined that this will be the last generation of girls to suffer the indignity and embarrassment of period poverty.
“When we started this project, the need for the provision was clear to us. Within 3 months we had 6 boxes and by the end of 2017, 9 months in we had 35 boxes. By the end of 2018, just one year later, we will have over 2000. It’s incredible.
“The support we have received to date has been amazing. If you want to get involved in providing menstrual products to young people in your community, please do get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you”
A teacher from a school that has a Red Box commented:
“Our girls are no longer whispering, ‘miss, do you have some pads’. Our girls are not having to decide between buying lunch or sanitary protection. They feel loved and supported”
To coordinate or support a Red Box please contact us:
To highlight the struggles, shame and consequences of period poverty, Always has enlisted the help of poet, Hollie McNish and a collective of bright young voices, to develop InstaPoems around the topic. For every like or comment made on these InstaPoems, the brand will donate a pad to The Red Box Project.
To check out the InstaPoems and like/comment to generate donations, follow @Always_uk_ireland on Instagram
If you would like to help us, please email: email@example.com
We’re delighted to announce that Always has chosen us as partner for the next phase of the Always #EndPeriodPoverty campaign! The brand will be donating thousands of pads to The Red Box Project so that girls across the country have access to free sanitary products via our red boxes.
Always is a market leader and so the scale of this is absolutely huge for us.
To date, our coordinators have quietly placed over 650 red boxes of free sanitary products in schools and the project is growing rapidly.
Thank you Always for helping us make this the last ever generation of young women to suffer the indignity of period poverty! Watch this space to find out how you can help generate pad donations and #EndPeriodPoverty.