Menstruation is one of the biggest obstacles to women being able to gain an education and earn a living. This is a problem very close to the heart of the Women of the Year Lunch who in 2006 gave an award to Tabitha Kumalo who was campaigning on this issue in Zimbabwe at great personal cost. Scandalously, today in 2019 in the United Kingdom, one in 10 young women (aged between 14-21), and one in seven in London, cannot afford to buy their own period products, and in many cases, this causes them to miss school on a regular basis.
Gift Wellness Foundation supports women in crisis by providing non-toxic sanitary pads. In the UK, this charity supports female students to enable them to attend school, women in low income employment who are forced to use food banks, and homeless women via womens refuge projects. Overseas, it funds sanitary protection for Rohingya women in Coxs Bazaar refugee camp in Bangladesh, the largest refugee camp in the world. Our donation will fund 55,416 sanitary pads, helping 615 women for 6 months.
The suicide rate in the UK rose last year for the first time since 2013. Men aged 45-49 remain at biggest risk but the greatest increase is in women aged 10-24 where the suicide rate has risen 83 per cent in six years. Most have sought help but not found it. Mental health services are notoriously stretched, and the NHS has little ongoing support to offer.
The Listening Place provides a unique, face-to-face volunteer-led support service for people who feel life is no longer worth living. Visitors will see the same well-trained volunteer regularly in a safe place where they can speak confidentially to a person who is warm and non-judgemental. The women can build a supportive relationship and are able to talk openly and freely, knowing that nothing is too dark to share. The results are measured and are remarkable, demonstrating highly significant decreases in suicidal feelings. TLP, launched in 2016, has recently reached a milestone 4,000 referrals. For the second year in a row, the Foundation is making a grant to this unique charity, which will pay for 900 appointments for women who for a myriad of reasons are struggling with suicide and need support.