At The Real Period Project, we believe a real period is one without shame, where we are fully informed about the process of the menstrual cycle and our choices around it. One where it doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ or fit a textbook description. We believe it’s important to teach about periods in the context of the whole menstrual cycle.
Our vision is a world where periods are taught as part of the whole menstrual cycle and it is safe to talk about and experience menstruation whatever your age, gender or location.
Everyone has their own definition of what a real period is to them, and we want to get this conversation going.
Our goal is to encourage body awareness, acceptance and celebration, to challenge shame and to question society’s assumed position on menstruation being something embarrassing to hide. And because our key goal is inclusivity, we want this conversation to include everyone, because menstruation affects everyone, in some way. None of us would be here if it wasn’t for the menstrual cycle, so let’s get familiar with it!
Our mission is to promote wellbeing through accessible and sustainable menstrual cycle education.
The Real Period Project is a Community Interest Company based in Bristol, UK. We want to make high quality positive menstrual education available to everyone, and our project is about working out the best way to do that.
The project was founded in 2016 and since then has been asking people what they would have liked to have been told when they were in school and working on developing effective education for both primary and secondary schools. See our Schools page for more information.
Throughout 2018 and so far in 2019 we have been supported by some fantastic organisations. A place on the Social Entrepreneurs Start Up program enabled us to learn and skill up in social entrepreneurship along with developing and testing educational approaches. Most recently, we are really excited to announce that Plan International have awarded us funding to carry out an exciting trial of menstrual cycle charting sessions for teen girls in Bristol and Bath. Watch this space!
2018 also brought an exciting collaboration with Hey Girls, developing their school education program. This inspiring social enterprise is tackling period poverty head on and providing sessions for schools and other settings, and it’s been an exciting journey creating this with them.
A lot of our language and ethos is inspired by the work of Chris Bobel and other menstrual researchers and activists who are exploring ways to make the menstruation discussion as inclusive as possible. Chella Quint has carried on this work here in the UK with her #periodpositive campaign. Chella coined this phrase in 2006 to advocate for honest and inclusive menstruation talk and to challenge shame and the perpetuation of taboos in advertising and its impact on education. Her influence can be felt throughout menstrual education today. Check out www.periodpositive.com to find out more.
We believe in generosity, and above all we want to make this work available to everyone. Currently we fund the project by running workshops, like our programs for girls and mothers, teens, fathers and teachers. We are looking for funding for our schools programs, and in the meantime we ask anyone who is interested in what we offer to contact us with what they can honestly afford. All profits from the running of our programs go to running of The Real Period Project – it is a labour of love!
So please, if you can, give generously. As a Community Interest Company, any profits we make will always go back into the company to help provide the best education to as many people as possible.
At any moment, many millions of people worldwide are menstruating. Yet it is still one of the last topics we can’t talk about publicly. We think it’s time to change this. Will you join us?
Emily Stewart is passionate about making the period conversation empowering and accessible. As a nurse with experience in community nursing, business/charity administration and preparation for periods workshops she set up the project from its beginnings and brings enthusiasm and new found knowledge on running social enterprises from completing the School for Social Entrepreneurs Start Up program. Her dream is to see a world where the menstrual cycle is seen as an ally and teacher, and talking about it is a normal part of life.
Melonie Syrett brings 15 years teaching experience, including 14 years as a school and national lead teacher in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). Melonie’s passion and expertise lies in creating safe spaces for children and adults to explore sensitive issues, speak from the heart and challenge ideas of what is right and wrong, enabling children and adults to feel into who they want to be as they grow and what they want in their lives, making changes where necessary and asking for help when needed.