Emma is an Apprenticeship Programme Officer who has called Manchester home for the best part of 15 years. She love cooking, eating and taking terrible pictures of food for Instagram. Emma runs a feminist bookclub and also volunteers for Sister Supporter Manchester.

What’s your role with Every Month? What will you be doing?

I’ve signed up to support with packing, campaigning and blogging. It’s a cause I feel really passionately about and I wanted to get involved as much as I could!

How did you find out about the campaign?

I work for the Co-op and I’m on the Steering Group of our Women’s Network. We worked with Beth McGlasson to arrange a collection for EM and I signed up to be one of the #100in100 fundraisers. When the opportunity to get involved came up, I couldn’t wait to get started!

What interested you about getting involved?

I just think it’s a disgrace that period poverty is even an issue in one of the world’s richest countries in this day and age.

I also really want to break down the ‘shame’ of periods. Around 50% of the population will have periods over roughly 40 years of their lives and yet there is a stigma around it. I took part in a 5 Live Radio programme about periods and the effect on my life and realised afterwards that I had downplayed how much I’m affected. If I can’t even talk about how rotten I feel every month, I imagine most people feel the same.

Where do you hope the campaign will be in a year’s time? 

Ideally, this campaign wouldn’t exist. We would be in a place where period poverty doesn’t exist and periods aren’t taboo and shrouded in stigma. If I’m being extra wishful thinking, I’d love for there to be no need for food banks either!

Who are you inspired by?

Anyone who sees a problem and tries to do something about it. I can be really guilty of talking about the things that are wrong with the world (usually over a glass of wine!) but not doing much about it.

What books/documentaries/films etc do you recommend to everyone?

Animal, by Sara Pascoe is an amazing book. Of the books read in bookclub so far, this has been the most positively received. She’s writing a follow-up about men and I can’t wait to read it.

I love a good documentary! 13th by Ava DuVernay is really powerful and thought-provoking, it theorises that incarceration rates for men of colour in America are so high because America’s economy still requires slavery. The House I Live In looks at how class / race is a factor in how drugs are policed. Miss-Representation is a few years old now, but it’s still relevant. It looks at how women are portrayed in the media and how it mirrors sexism in wider society.

I always recommend the old Columbo films too because they are amazing!

What change would you like to see in the way menstruation is currently discussed?

I’d like to see two things change. Firstly, as something that impacts around half the population for around half their lives, I’d love conversations around periods to become more normalised. Some brands are doing work in this area – using red rather than blue liquid to show the efficiency of their products, for example. It’s telling that conversations around sanitary items for homeless people and people in police custody are only just starting, it’s like people have only realised that other people have periods.

Secondly, I’d like issues around menstruation to be taken more seriously. I don’t have a condition like endometriosis, but I do have a pretty horrible time once a month. I get run-down to the point of getting cold-like symptoms (I finally found someone else who gets this and I wanted to hug her!) and I get cramps so bad I’ve thrown up before. But I don’t feel like I would be able to call in sick at work for this.

Oh, and if I could change a third thing, I’d get rid of the phrase “on the rag”, it’s horrendous!

What would you tell your younger self about periods?

Your first period won’t run out of you like a river! Also, EVERYONE leaks.

What helps you most when you’re on your period?

Using an app to keep a track of things really helped when my periods were irregular. Now they’re more regular, I still use it. Sometimes I’ll feel a bit off and snippy with my partner and I’ll check when my period is due and it will all make sense!

Days one and two are horrible. I make sure I have a constant supply of paracetamol and ibuprofen going (seriously, every 4 hours like clockwork!) and I have to make sure I take some to bed with me – there is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with cramps!

I tend to start my period over the weekend, I am lucky in that I have the luxury of being able to spend the day in bed should it get really bad. My friends know that I get hit hard so they’re forgiving if I cry off for a date in bed with some films!

The Every Month packing team descended upon Tribeca on Saturday 29 Septembert to kickstart the first session with our exciting new intake of volunteers, who were all ready and rearing to go.

We packed out the top floor, and our production line of pad packers, tampon counters, chocolate bar checkers and sticker stickers packed 800 packs in just an hour and a half! No easy feat on a Saturday.

Each pack consists of 10 pads, 5 applicator and 5 non-applicator tampons, with a chocolate bar thrown in each pack for good measure.

These packs get taken out to food banks, shelters and charities throughout Manchester by our volunteers (with very full cars!), and will make a huge difference to those experiencing period poverty, giving them products as well as reinforcing that these products are ESSENTIAL and not a luxury item (apart from maybe the KitKat chunky duos).

It was great to hear lots of ideas being thrown around, as well as some great discussions about how people want to get more involved as Every Month continues to rapidly grow as a community.

A massive thank you to everyone who came down to help, as well as everyone who donated sanitary products, and also to Tribeca for letting us overwhelm their floor space with bags of tampons and chocolate bars!

If you’d like to get involved in the upcoming packing parties, or would like to know more about Every Month in general, drop us a line at http://everymonthcampaign.org/contact-us/ and keep an eye on our instagram @everymonthmcr for more opportunities! If you’d also like to donate some sanitary products, hit us up on http://everymonthcampaign.org/donate/.

 

 

 

 

By Naomi Evans, Every Month Blogger

SO the campaign has been mega so far. We’re not even half  way and we’ve already raised over £1500. All 22 volunteers are working their socks off to get Every Month to registered charity status. We’re totally floored by the creativity and commitment of all the volunteers and how amazing everyone has been sharing and giving too – you guys are the best. Here’s a wee update…

 

Emma Speight has raised £425 so far uploading a piece of artwork a day on social media (Instagram account: @emma.evelyn.s). Emma’s work ranges from illustrated nudes to photography to sanitary products. If everyone who liked the photos over the last 29 days had given £1, the total would be £962! Every £1 could help improve a person’s standard of life. Bodyform have just used a piece of Emma’s work so we hope this will help us spread the word even further!

Daisy Wakefield was featured on B Journal, showcasing her beautiful art work (she was good enough to give the campaign a mention too. Check it out here and more of her work heeeeeere: @daisy_wakefield

 

Super cool gal, comedian, one half of Kill No Fill podcast and host of of Suspiciously Cheap Comedy Kiri Pritchard McClean is on the team too, throw a few quid her way here.

 


Rose Sergent (that’s me!)..I’m working with amazing artists who have given their  stories and work to reach £100 in 100 days and raise awareness of Endometriosis. Zine makers include Aubrey Dillon Sinclair, Kitty James, Katie At Heart and K Houlohan and can be bought from www.drawnpoorlyzine.bigcartel.com for only £1 each (you know you want to! ;)). The last zine will be available next week and posted on the @drawnpoorlyzine social media.

 

We’re SUPER excited that the amazing Pot Yer Tits Away Luv are doing a give away to raise funds. Each pot is individual, beautiful and custom made! Check out the Instagram for full deets on how you can be in for a chance to win @potyertitsawayluv

 

Again, thank you all so much. We couldn’t do this without you. More updates SOON <3

Hey y’all so we’re a week into the £100 in 100 days campaign and massive things have happened already.  There are 21 amazing fundraisers in total here are just seven of the things they’ve already achieved… IN JUST A WEEK…

Nancy Leigh Green tweeted Andy Burnham and he donated £10 to her Go Fund Me (yasss!).

EM Fundraiser Ashleigh, smashed her target with a work bake sale on International Women’s Day.

Co-op Womens network (Aspire) had a collection for products at HQ.

Drawn Poorly Zine are working with contributors to make mini zines, raising funds for EM and awareness of  Endometriosis.

Manchester High School for girls raised a huuuuge £320 with a period party!

Emma is sharing a piece of her work each day for the whole campaign, check out the first seven on her IG: @emmaevelyn.s.

Four of the fabulous fundraisers have achieved their target already!!

Stay tuned for more updates of everyone’s progress and keep an eye on our social media and #100in100 for links to and news on campaign updates.

If you want to get involved with fundraising for EM get in touch with Christina & Ashleigh: everymonthfundraising@gmail.com

Till next week <3 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

donate

We need YOUR help.

It’s International Women’s Day on the 8th March and we’re launching our new fundraising effort.  We need volunteers to help raise £100 each in 100 days.

Every Month relies on donations of products and cash to continue the work we do in the local community.

This year our goal is to be able to register as a charity in the hopes of securing more
funding and expanding the area in which we serve, but to do that we need to raise £5000.

That’s where you come in.

As a 100 in 100 volunteer you would need to raise; you guessed it, £100 in 100 days, starting on the 8th of March and finishing on the 16th of June.

All of the money raised will go towards funding our project and the overall total.  This means we can register as an actual charity, which will stand us in great stead for the future and means we can help out more and more people.

There are plenty of ways to raise the money for us and if you want to join us on this epic journey please please please sign up by the 1st of March.

You’ll be sent a super wicked fundraising pack which will have tonnes of ideas and a gofundme link which, once you’ve registered it, will kick start your fundraising.

What do you say? Are you in? Help us out!

Email everymonthfundraising@gmail.com to register your interest.