We had a fantastic time supporting Project GIVE recently to put on their very first ‘GIVEmas Fair’, an event which saw our local communities (including a few familiar faces) come together to help bring an end to period poverty in Wolverhampton.

Project GIVE held their final successful fundraiser of 2018, the ‘GIVEmas Fair’, which took place at the Light House in Wolverhampton and saw over 250 guests attend, as well as over 25 stalls selling food, handmade decorations and bespoke gifts.

Project GIVE is run by Kelly Walker-Reed to ensure that no young person in Wolverhampton and surrounding areas will have to suffer the effects of period poverty, where young people from low income backgrounds cannot afford basic menstrual products — a problem said to impact one in 10 women aged 14 to 21 in Britain.

Kelly Walker-Reed explained: “This was our first event and we’re all absolutely thrilled with how it went — it was a truly magical end to the year. We raised a total of £897 on the day which was rounded up to £1,000 by Paycare, who also kindly paid for the fantastic Light House as our venue.”

Thanks to a Twitter hashtag campaign #FingersCrossedforBev, recording artist, radio presenter and musical theatre actress, Beverley Knight MBE made a special appearance and supported the cause to raise awareness of, and end, period poverty in Wolverhampton.

Kelly added: “We wanted to make it more than a Christmas fair and our entertainment on the day really made it special. We had Labour MP Eleanor Smith attend along with a belly dancing group, the Bethel All Saints Apostolic Church Choir, singer and record producer Róisín Murphy, as well as a singer Nicola Elliot and much more.”

The Project GIVE team also held a Facebook poll on whether to invite Santa Clause or Mrs Clause, with the latter winning hands-down and handing out various gifts and raffle prizes to guests. These included pantomime theatre tickets, Toni & Guy hair salon vouchers, and a meet and greet with Conor Coady (of Wolverhampton Wanderers) along with a signed pair of his football boots.

“Huge thanks to all of those who came, showed their support and volunteered, and of course to Paycare, which not only helped us to make this event a success but also helped us find a home for Project GIVE by donating us some of their empty office space at Paycare House,” Kelly concluded.

Kevin Rogers, our CEO, commented: “We’re so proud to support such a wonderful cause like Project GIVE and were delighted to cover the costs of the Light House as the venue, as well as top up their fundraising total to £1000. It was humbling to see so many businesses, individuals and groups come together in support of tackling period poverty in Wolverhampton, and we very much look forward to working with the team to continue raising awareness during 2019.”

Over 1800 sanitary products were donated at the event, which Project GIVE is sharing with schools across Wolverhampton for pupils to use however they need, whether that be for a single day or throughout the month.

A special thanks from Project GIVE and Paycare goes to the many volunteers who helped make the event a success, including Lucy Palin, Angie Kijak-Davis, Stacie Goodhead, Nami Beards, Shanice Henry, Mark McGuire, Georgia Speed, Claire Carmichael, Louise Kealy and Natalie Quinn-Walker.

For more information, please visit Project GIVE Wolverhampton on Facebook, or visit www.inspiringhealthychoices.co.uk