A Big Day in the Fight Against Period Poverty – But Our Work Is Not Yet Done.

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.

The Red Box Project – Northern Ireland

We are absolutely thrilled to see The Red Box Project Northern Ireland: North Down & Ards and Claire Best getting the coverage they deserve in this piece by BBC News.

Claire has worked so hard to bring her community together who in turn have shown themselves to be kind and generous in their support.

Tackling period poverty together!

#EndPeriodPoverty
#CommunityKindnessMatters
#TheRedBoxProject 
#NorthernIreland

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-47254222

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Being kind to another person can often take a concerted effort. When life is full of your own stresses and strains it can take a lot to sprinkle joy into someone else’s life. But, notice the effect it has when you do take the time to open a door for someone, give way to someone when you’re driving, stopping to let a person or people cross the road and smiling. Smiling is often the best way to show someone you care. A silent exchange that can lift another human soul when they need it most. 

Today is ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’. So many wonderful posts have been shared on social media and it is a joy to see each one. 

We, at The Red Box Project, are fortunate. We see the kindness of others, in action, on numerous occasions, every single day. The generosity and silent acts of giving are inspiring and it is that which keeps us motivated and empowered to keep delivering support to as many educational settings across the UK and overseas. 

We also see the other side. The need for your continued support is ever growing. Thank you so much for taking those moments to write a kind word, make journeys to your local donation drop off points and for supporting the legal campaign we are involved in. Access to period products should not be reliant on the kindness of strangers but until change comes we are so grateful to each and every one of you. Together we are stronger! 

#randomactsofkindnessday
#randomactsofkindness
#kindnessmatters
#redboxproject

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, The Red Box Project and Amika George would love you to join the #FreePeriods movement

This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter, celebrating women’s achievements as well as focusing on a call for a more gender-balanced world.

We believe that every child should have equal access to education, regardless of gender. This is their fundamental human right. It is completely unacceptable that any young person should miss out on their education because they have their period. That is why we are calling on the Government to provide funding for free menstrual products for schools and colleges across the country.

At The Red Box Project, we have learnt that there truly is strength in numbers and we would love for your school to get involved: opening up conversations around periods, breaking down barriers and encouraging engagement in politics and society.

How can you join us?

1. Discuss with young people the importance of gender equality in schools. Why does it matter? How do periods fit into this issue? What should be done about it?

2. Take action: we’ve included several activities suitable for English lessons, citizenship lessons, PSHE, form times or debating or feminism clubs, to get students to think about #FreePeriods. We’ve included an activity to help students to write to their MP about the issue. This is a real world problem and letters could be sent to their MP in anticipation of a response.

3. Join the #FreePeriods movement online. We would love to hear from schools tweeting or commenting about the difference #FreePeriods would make to their students. Please do tag @RedBoxProject and @AmikaGeorge in your tweets.

To download our teaching resources, please click on the link below.

We would love to hear your feedback on how the discussions and activities went. Please email: redboxprojectuk@gmail.com 

Thank you for joining us in the fight for #FreePeriods

Crimson Grenade!

SAVE THE DATE!

The Crimson Grenade Cabaret Evening is being held in just 10 days time. If you live in London or are visiting on the 31st Jan 2019, why not pop along to what promises to be a great night of entertainment!

Ticket profits for the evening will be being donated to the Red Box Project.

Click on the link below for more information about this fabulous event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/222299205362033/?ti=ia

We Have Hit Our Initial £10k Target!

#FreePeriods: It’s Time to Take Legal Action to End Period Poverty in the UK

Free Periods

Let the legal campaign begin!

This is incredible!

Kindness is everywhere. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

In under one week and from pledges made by 399 AMAZING people we have reached our initial target of £10k, allowing us to take the next step forwards in our legal campaign. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣Thank you so much to everyone who donated, liked and shared our posts on social media . You are wonderful people! ❤️⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

Our Crowd Justice page is still very much live and we would love for more and more people to support our legal campaign but knowing we have hit our initial target so quickly is overwhelming in the best possible way and sets us on the path of building a robust case to bring to our government – asking them to fulfil their legal responsibility in ensuring that no young person misses out on their right to an education because they have their period. ⁣⁣⁣⁣Break the inequality.

⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣#endperiodpoverty⁣⁣⁣

#freeperiods⁣⁣⁣

#kindnessmatters⁣⁣⁣

#thenextstep⁣⁣⁣

#education⁣⁣⁣

#dignity ⁣⁣⁣

#theredboxproject

Free Periods: Amika George, teenage ‘period poverty’ activist and campaigner, launches new legal campaign for free menstrual products in schools

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.”

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/freeperiods/


To support the campaign visit the Free Periods crowdfunding page: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/freeperiods/

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 freeperiodscampaign@gmail.com

I, Daniel Blake

I, Daniel Blake – On BBC Two at 9.45 pm Monday 5th January 2019.

‘If you’re not angry, what kind of person are you?’ Director, Kenneth (Ken) Loach offering out the question we should all be asking.

It is never about turning a blind eye.

If you haven’t already immersed yourself with the masterpiece that is: I, Daniel Blake then we beseech you to watch, record and allow yourself to be confronted with the stark reality that our country finds itself in today; spiralling out of control for so many, too many people, in our society.

Every stranger is a friend you have yet to meet. When you psychologise it in that sense, difficult times can occur in a split second and completely out of your control to your family, friend or neighbour. Ignorance is definitely NOT bliss.

Everyone who supports us – thank you for placing yourself in another person’s shoes and reinforcing how important it is to have a society built on morals that are positive, kind and caring.

#EndPeriodPoverty
#TogetherWeAreStronger
#KindnessMatters

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/oct/15/ken-laoch-film-i-daniel-blake-kes-cathy-come-home-interview-simon-hattenstone

The Red Box Project Reaches 2000 Active Red Boxes in the UK

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 questions asked.

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 menstruation.

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:

redboxprojectuk@gmail.com

The Red Box Project Launches in Matthew Moss High School

Photo Credit: Rochdale Online

The Red Box Project launches at Matthew Moss High School!

A wonderfully positive write up from Rochdale Online and a glimpse in to the teachers and other members of staff that work in our schools and who care so much about the students in their care.

Anna Stokes, our The Red Box Project Rochdale coordinator brings such passion and commitment to tackling period poverty in her community and we are so lucky to have her. Thank you for all you do!

#EndPeriodPoverty
#KindnessMatters
#TheRedBoxProject