Bloody brilliant way to end period poverty goes on the menu in London

Bloody brilliant way to end period poverty goes on the menu in London

A brunch experience with a difference is coming to London – one that promises to do good with every Bloody Mary poured.

Taking place at The Book Club, Shoreditch on Saturday 2nd June (12noon-4pm), the Bloody Big Brunch, will serve-up the classic cocktail all day long – but there’s a catch. It can only be ‘bought’ in exchange for sanitary protection.

It’s an unusual drinks bill for the all-too-common problem of period poverty; a plight experienced by at least 1 in 10 women in the UK. Although the average spend on tampons and sanitary towels is £4,800 over a lifetime, those in financial difficulty often pay a much higher price. Unable to afford what they need, many are forced to use old clothes, toilet paper and newspapers as alternatives solutions – or rely on friends and food banks.

In response, organisers of the Bloody Big Brunch created a simple but thought-provoking way for people to come together, talk about periods without embarrassment and help end the problem. All sanitary products received at events are donated to women-in-need throughout the country.

To help make donations as easy as possible, the Bloody Big Brunch has partnered with Hey Girls!, an ethical, buy-one-give-one sanitary pad social enterprise who are on a mission to support girls and young women throughout the UK. At each brunch, the award-winning Hey Girls! will offer the opportunity to make contactless donations, meaning pads go straight to those who need them most.

The event will also feature DJs, entertainment and the opportunity to hear more from period poverty organisations and campaigners.

Lee Beattie, one of the organisers of the Bloody Big Brunch, said: “It’s time to remove the taboo of talking about periods so we can talk about period poverty.

“Taxed as a non-essential luxury item, the reality is that sanitary products should be a basic essential available to all women. So we’re using an actual luxury – brunching with a Bloody Mary in hand – to shine a light on this massive issue that lots of people – women and men – don’t know much about.

“Nobody should feel shame about menstruation, nor should they have to resort to uncomfortable substitutes or no sanitary products at all. By getting bloody talking over a Bloody Mary, we can start helping those in need – and putting pressure on the government for change.”

Celia Hodson, founder of Hey Girls! said:
“Reports highlighting women living in poverty and women who are homeless being forced to use newspapers and socks during their periods has opened up a wave of donations and drop off stations across the UK in libraries, food-banks and public spaces. We must now consider how we convert this current goodwill into a sustainable solution for period poverty.

“Enterprises like Hey Girls! are already playing a significant role – our buy-one-give-one model allows customers to donate a pack by doing something they already do every month, without any additional cost to them. Each pack purchased results in a direct donation to a girl or women in need in the UK. In just three months, Hey Girls! customers have donated over 17,000 boxes of pads – and this figure will grow significantly before the end of the year. Plus, as official partner of the Bloody Big Brunch, we’ve made it easier than ever for people to make a difference.”

Jenna Al-Ansari, Head of Arts and Culture Events at the Book Club said:
“We’re delighted to be the chosen to host London’s first Bloody Brunch. At The Book Club, many of our SuperCulture talks and events are powerful and playful, often with a feminist agenda, so this fits right in.”

The Bloody Big Brunch London takes place at The Book Club, 100-106 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4RH from 12noon to 4pm. Everyone welcome.