Edinburgh Napier collective takes home Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion award
A three-year long campaign by students and staff at Edinburgh Napier to raise awareness of period poverty has been recognised with an award win at the “Oscars of Higher Education.”
Bleedin’ Saor – the staff/student collective responsible for the campaign – collected the Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at last night’s Times Higher Education Awards 2021 in London.
Led by Edinburgh Napier colleagues Ruth Cochrane, Dr Kirsten Macleod and Lindsay Morgan, the collective was praised by judges for its efforts in combating menstrual myths and breaking the ‘silence of menstruation’ to create a long-lasting impact for young people and their communities.
The Bleedin’ Saor campaign was multi-faceted, with the collective most recently launching its Bleeding Free documentary which looked at topics such as period poverty, period dignity and menstrual education both in Scotland and overseas in Uganda.
The collective visited Uganda in 2019 as it took its campaign to East Africa to join global efforts in the menstrual movement.
The 10-day trip saw the group meet with and interview members of a number of organisations within the country who are fighting for better period product provision, gender equality and women’s’ rights.
Closer to home, the documentary also captures the work of the collective and its three designers – Sam Calder, Hannah Stevens and Brogan Henderson – as they worked with the University and the Hey Girls social enterprise to design two new period product dispensers.
The final design has been used by Edinburgh Napier to make period products free to all who need them within the University’s campuses and will soon be installed in schools, colleges and universities across the country. The free products at Edinburgh Napier have been made available thanks to Scottish Government funding.
The Bloody Big Brunch event hosted by Bleedin’ Saor at all three of Edinburgh Napier’s campuses in early 2019 - which saw guests pay for entry to the brunch through donating period products rather than money - is also revisited in the film.
On the award win, Ruth, Kirsten and Lindsay said: “We are beyond delighted that Bleedin’ Saor has received this recognition. It highlights the role that creativity has to play in tackling society’s challenges. The success of this project is completely down to our amazing students, it shows that given the chance, our young people really can change the world.”
Principal Andrea Nolan said: “This award is fantastic recognition for the Bleedin’ Saor collective and I am so proud of what it has done both for Edinburgh Napier and beyond.
“The campaign is a perfect example of successful student and staff partnership working and I am thrilled that the team has been recognised for its tireless work and passion in raising awareness of period poverty.
“A huge congratulations to you all.”
The THE awards – now in their 17th year – span 20 categories covering the full range of university activities. This year’s winners, focusing on achievements during 2019-20, were announced at a ceremony last night at London’s Hilton London Metropole hotel.
The University was well represented on the night, with Professor Lis Neubeck, from the School of Health & Social Care, also shortlisted for Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year.
Entitled Abnormal Heart Rhythms: Changing National and Global Detection and Management, Professor Neubeck’s internationally leading research and knowledge exchange focuses on the early detection and appropriate management of the most common abnormal heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation, and has had significant impact on the field of cardiovascular health at a national, European and global level.
The full list of winners from the night can be found here.