Musicians and comedians come together to fight period poverty

By Jamie Hill - 10 April 2021

CharityArts and Culture

Performers from across the country and beyond are joining together on 17 April for Rise Up! for Women and Girls: a Virtual Festival, which will take place from 6pm to 10pm in aid of the work Women and Girls (Development) does combatting period poverty in India.

Like countless other charities, Women and Girls’ fundraising has been largely put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, as much of their fundraising takes place at face-to-face events. It is with the help of Chippenham-based event management company Melt Productions that the event is able to take place online, and due to both their and the performers’ generosity that all proceeds will go towards helping the charity continue to fulfil its mission of providing comfort, dignity and freedom to women and girls in India during their periods.

The event’s music line-up is led by folk legend Kate Rusby who will be performing for the festival and the comedy is led by the warm and hugely talented panel show frequenter Rosie Jones. They are joined by a host of other acts from across the country who are all giving their time for free to support the cause.

Pianist and composer Rebecca Nash and singer songwriter Sara Colman are joining the line-up to support the event. Rebecca said, “Sara and I are so glad that we are able to use our music to support Women and Girls. The work they are doing is so crucial to raising the necessary awareness needed about period poverty. The uniqueness of their approach stands them out from other organisations tackling the same issues.”

Women and Girls provides reusable, hygienic sanitary protection to menstruators in India that costs just £5 per pack and lasts for up to 2 years. The products are made from material that makes them resistant to bacteria, meaning they can be washed even in dirty water while remaining clean, safe and hygienic to use. In a country where over 300 million women are using homemade alternatives to sanitary protection, this is a frequently overlooked issue that has a simple solution.

George Sansome of Granny's Attic who will be performing at the event said, “We’d like to thank Women and Girls for asking us to play as part of Rise Up! The charity does a lot of fantastic work providing sanitary products to parts of the world where they aren’t easily accessible and we are honoured to support them here. It’s been a particularly hard year for them, and they need the support from people now more than ever.”

The festival organisers are based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and they have received some fantastic support from the local community. Rising star Harmony-Asia will be bringing her beautiful music to the event and Edinburgh Festival favourite Wil Hodgson, who runs Chippenham Comedy Club, will be doing a stand-up set as well as running a quiz with long-time friend and local legend Cina Qedesh. A £50 Ian Snow voucher, donated by the popular, trendy and ethical homewares retailer is up for grabs for the winner of the quirky music quiz.

But the support doesn’t end there. Performers from across the world are coming together for the event, including Nimo Patel of Empty Hands Music. Nimo started with an Ivy League education and shot to fame and fortune as a MTV Rap star. He supports one of Women and Girls’ distribution partners in India and will be performing live for the event from his current base in the USA.

Tickets for the event cost just £10 and are available through https://hopin.com/events/rise-up-for-women-and-girls.

Women and Girls is a registered charity (no. 1173653). Visit womenandgirls.org.uk to find out more about the charity’s work.

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