Who are we?
At The Crimson Wave we work with charities and vulnerable women to help as many homeless and low income women as possible have a comfortable period.
Through events, articles and campaigns we aim to provide a reliable, freely available form of sanitary wear for women without access to such standard supplies. We do this by putting together our signature #PeriodPacks for distribution via local charities and hubs across Manchester and beyond.
Why do we bother?
Recent government cuts mean that more women than ever before need our help. Accessing these vital supplies is almost impossible for some women and yet the issue remains one which is rarely brought to light.
There are many reason women find themselves without a home – one reason may be to escape violent partners. Interviews conducted by Crisis with homeless women showed that 20 % became homeless to escape violence from someone they knew, with 70% of these cases fleeing violence from a partner.
Most women in the UK will never need to imagine how they’d handle their monthly period without a cupboard stocked full of their chosen sanitary items, or at least the money in the bank to pick some up, but for those without any access to these products it can become a recurring, and dehumanising, event.
Every women deserves a dignified period and The Crimson Wave aims to provide a way in which these women can gain regular access to their chosen sanitary wear and claim back that dignity.
What are the facts?
The latest government figures show that homelessness is on the rise (by up to 30%) over the last year. There are currently 3,569 homeless people forced to sleep rough on the streets of towns and cities across the UK every night. According to Crisis however, these figures do not take into account the ‘invisible homeless’ who have sought no help from intervention centres and schemes.
The UK has the 5th largest economy in the world, we pride ourselves on our welfare system and we have a something history of progressive activism, led for women and by women. In 2017, when we can land robots on mars and treat ourselves to a new wardrobe for less than a tenner, there is no excuse for a society which ignores these women’s right to reliable, clean and safe sanitary wear. Sanitary wear is not a luxury, it is a necessity and all women should have free and easy access to it, but until then we aim to help as many as we can.
What do we do?
We founded The Crimson Wave in 2016 after witnessing the valiant efforts of many similar organisations throughout the country. Thanks to these inspirations, we put together our first batch of around 50 fully stocked #PeriodPacks in December 2016 and worked with Petrus, a local homeless charity, to get them distributed to the women of Manchester as much needed Christmas gifts.
Each #PeriodPack contains up to 10 tampons or pads, panty liners for those ‘are we done yet?’ final days, and some chocolate to stave off any cramps. We’ve also previously included things such as paracetamol, sanitary disposal bags and vaginal wipes thanks to the kind donations we’ve received.
More recently we donated 50 more packs to an emergency housing project – which is the first point of call for homeless men and women, and a space in which they can gain the support and guidance they need to get back on their feet.
With the help of those who provided physical donations, and those who have already donated to our Crowd Funding campaign on JustGiving, we are now in the position to begin hosting our #PeriodPack events so that you can come along and get involved. At time of writing, our JustGiving campaign has reached £650. Our first big event is planned for April 1st, at Touchstones Art Gallery, and we hope as many people as possible will come down to get involved.
How can you help?
If you’d like to join The Crimson Wave in our mission to bring free sanitary wear to less fortunate women of Manchester you can do so by donating your time and attending one of our events, details of which can be found below, making a donation to our crowdfunding page on JustGiving (https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/TheCrimsonWave), or sending us your spare sanitary wear by getting in touch via social media.
No matter how you get involved, you’ll be helping to ensure that more women have a safe and comfortable period this month, and for many more to come.
Join us at our event on April 1st at Touchstones to make a physical donation, meet the team and join the #PeriodPack production line. Alternatively, find us on Facebook (/TheCrimsonWaveOrg), Twitter (@CrimsonWaveOrg) and Instagram (TheCrimsonWaveOrg) to stay up to date with all our work.
To donate as little as £5, head over to our Just Giving page.
-Guest blog written by The Crimson Wave Founder Hannah Barnes