Naomi is an Executive Assistant, drummer, and dog enthusiast, originally from York, but who has been living in Manchester for the past 5 years. She wants to make the conversation around periods as normal as what you had for lunch, and ultimately help banish the stigma that has been holding us all back.
 

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

I’m both a blogger and packer for Every Month, so I’m involved in writing articles, and helping to make the packs that are sent out to food banks, shelters and charities around Manchester.

2. How did you find out about the campaign?

I found out about it from a friend who’s involved in charity work who sent a screenshot of an Instagram post calling for volunteers. I used to do some journalism work and have been dying to get back into volunteering, so thought it was about time I gave it a go and put my money where my mouth is!

3. What interested you about getting involved?

Every Month is at a really exciting stage where it’s small enough to see how your work contributes to the campaign, but big enough to have a real impact on the local community and conversation generally around period poverty. Every Month takes the topic seriously but doesn’t take itself too seriously and I really like that.

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

I hope the campaign grows and that people become more familiar with the name, and that bigger and bigger names get involved. I think that we can help drive the conversation not only around periods, but all of our experiences. It’s all about opening up and empathy, and people not feeling like they have to hide, and that goes for everything – mental health, gender, and sexuality for instance.

5. Who are you inspired by?

I’m pretty old school, so I’d say I’m mainly inspired by people like civil and human rights activists both past and present. People who speak up for change even when it’s not easy to do so – the Malala Yousafzais of the world. I’m also inspired by a lot of the people around me, friends and family; it’s amazing to see the people you love and care about achieve things you’re really proud of (even if you only tell them that after a wine or five).

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

If you’re like me and like a bit of power to the people, I’d recommend films like Pride and Made in Dagenham. I love them because they’re a reminder to me that ‘ordinary’ people are often the ones who have changed the world. My favourite book of all time is called The Submission by Amy Waldman, and is pretty dark but is a fictional novel surrounding the events of 9/11. I love it because I think I can be a pretty opinionated person, but the way it presents the story really challenges and makes you question your own beliefs. I read it 3 years ago and still can’t decide what my conclusion is, which I love. Definitely give it a go.

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

I want to see people become more comfortable talking about it like they would anything else. One time at work I dropped a pad on the floor and the guy next to me said ‘what’s that?’. He genuinely didn’t know what it was. Isn’t it mad that 50% of all the people he’s probably met have had periods almost every month and he didn’t know what a pad was? I’ve never owned or worn a pair of mens’ boxers, but people would think I was mad if I didn’t know what they were. I think the more comfortable we all get talking about it, the more educated and empathetic to each other we’ll all become.

8 What would you tell your younger self about periods?

Talk about them! Every conversation about them starts with one person speaking first.

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

Cutting myself some slack. Sometimes your period is going to hit when you’re planning to go the gym or a big event, and you want to just curl up in a ball at home under a blanket instead. I think it’s important to give yourself a break and not force yourself to do things, and to not feel guilty about it. Also, tracking when they are – getting the urge to scream at the sound of someone eating crisps loudly on the train isn’t a coincidence.

In case you missed our exciting news, we’ve OVER THE MOON to announce we’re joining forces with the badasses at OHNE!

OHNE are calling time on toxic tampons, offering 100% organic tampons (with biodegradable applicators, if applicator tampons are your thing) and free delivery! They are also super-committed to ending period poverty, both through their support of the Girls Programme in Zambia and, now, through their support of Every Month!

Everyone who donates to Every Month on our GoFundMe page will get a special code to use at OHNE to receive a pack of OHNE tampons FOR FREE!

So, what are you waiting for? Your donation will help us to get more period packs to people in Greater Manchester experiencing poverty, AND  you’ll be rewarded with lovely organic tampons! Everyone’s a winner!

To learn more about OHNE, their tampons and their work in Zambia, why not pop over to https://ohne.co/ (after you’ve read this and donated, of course!)

By Emma Barratt, Every Month Blogger