SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NEWS
Please meet Bloody Amazing – and they are just that! In our next spotlight Founder, Livvi, tells us all about this emergent social enterprise based in Scotland aiming to make period education part of the curriculum in Scottish schools, including all that comes with that – hormones, emotions, preparing for menopause and healthcare.
Livvi and her team believes that all people with periods have the right to find out about their bodies, what to expect during their cycle, problems to be aware of, how to advocate for themselves and how to prepare for their future. Read on to find out more about what they do, other projects, plans for the year and tips for other social enterprises.
Our aim is to deliver educational workshops on all things related to menstrual and menopause health. It still takes an average of 7 years for a woman to be diagnosed with many period problems such as endometriosis which is a shocking statistic. We want young people empowered with knowledge and confidence to understand their bodies, know when something might be wrong and how to advocate on their own behalf, with the latest information. We are passionate about sustainability and reusable period products so we will include information on these, allowing young people to make educated choices about what’s right for them, hopefully helping the environment along the way.
Our school workshops can be delivered to primary or secondary pupils and during youth work sessions. We will work with schools to create a bespoke package that fulfils their needs including information on hormones, period problems and what to expect, how to ask for help and different products they may need or use. This can include, for example, sessions with smaller groups of young people with additional support needs. We would also like to distribute free samples of reusable products to enable young people to try these out for themselves. We are also looking into providing holistic menopause awareness and training sessions.
There is current research that shows menstrual health education in Scotland is not consistent. Teachers are saying they don’t feel confident enough to teach about the subject and, in this area, we are letting young people down. As part of our workshop experience, we will invite pupils and staff to participate in our menstrual health podcasts. Menstruation directly affects half the population of the world and yet in 2023 there is still stigma attached to this topic. By encouraging young people to talk about it we normalise it and remove the shame that people sometimes feel when faced with the topic of menstruation. We have also spoken to many who have been through the menopause who feel they were not prepared for the event and want to learn more about how they can support their bodies.
I have personally suffered with endometriosis. During my early teens I thought everyone suffered the way I did – I didn’t realise it wasn’t normal as it was never spoken about. I had no idea what was happening or that there was something wrong. I didn’t know how to advocate on my own behalf until I started speaking to others. I am still in a battle with the NHS to have my symptoms and experience recognised. I don’t want others to suffer needlessly and for the amount of time that I and many others have had to, which was my main motivation for starting Bloody Amazing. I also just feel we don’t talk about issues impacting our bodies, especially periods and menopause enough.
Getting ourselves out there. We want to talk to anyone and everyone and reach as many people as possible. Continuing to work with other organisations with a similar ethos and set of values, too. On a practical level, we are looking at securing funding to allow us to reach and connect with more people, tell more stories and make our business more sustainable.
Our focus in the next 6 months is to deliver our workshops in schools. As part of our initial roll-out we are working with a wonderful, ethical company who are supporting us with donations of reusable period products that we can distribute to schools. This is fantastic as many people are still hesitant to try these due to uncertainty and lack of education. Reusables have a more expensive outlay than disposables and this may prohibit some people from accessing them so it’s great we can support those young people with free products. We are also loving meeting and getting to know organisations who share our aims and values across the UK and look forward to working more collaboratively in the future.
Anyone and everyone who has a story to tell and who is interested in our mission and values!
Personally, balancing a chronic illness and working full time with trying to change the negative experience that many have with their period and/or menopause is difficult, too! Finding time for the practical elements of managing and directing a social enterprise with no business experience and a hatred of jargon is also difficult!
We would love to be the organisation that young people think of when they have concerns or questions relating to period and menopause education. We would love to have worked, and be working with, different organisations towards our common goals of inclusivity and sustainability and with different groups who are often left out of these conversations, such as those who do not identify with their assigned gender or black and minority ethnic individuals.
Find something you’re passionate about and do your research. It may be a great idea for a social enterprise in terms of impact, but can it also be a viable business that generates income? Also, find like-minded people who want to support you and lift you up, but also people who will give you honest, realistic feedback. Think about the barriers to success so you can address them early on. Don’t limit your ideas – you might find an avenue you hadn’t thought of before improves your chances of success.
Bloody Amazing aims to make information on this website easy to navigate, clear and applicable to a wide range of people, why not check it out here. They believe everyone should know what a healthy period looks like and how to support others.
Livvi and team believe in the importance of ending stigma when it comes to talking about periods and other issues that impact our bodies. Periods and later, menopause impact more than half of the population and should not be a source of shame.
For more information about Bloody Amazing, please visit their website and make sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter/X to keep updated with their work.
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