Sunday, 19 June 2016

Saskia Hampele's 'Gift Box' - a bloody worthy cause

(update 27.6.16:  $28,056 raised so far please keep pledging, it must reach 45k!! Only 63 hours left!!!)

(update 1.7.16)  They did it! 706 backers pledged $45,862 to help bring this project to life.)
For my Australian readers and those worldwide with a big heart and a good dose of empathy, I urge you to please get behind this worthy cause.

Two years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Saskia  Hampele on the Neighbours  set (she played Georgia Brooks but left Neighbours in early 2015 to move to Los Angeles to pursue new acting opportunities) 
Saskia & I

She struck me as a very caring and warm person , in fact it radiated from her , but  that is hardly surprising as she qualified as a social worker and also worked as a counsellor . Gritty jobs that require a caring nature.

So I was not surprised to recently learn about her Gift Box project - ( a project I would like to see happening around the world I hasten to add, which they hope will eventually happen.)

Now   sit down, because I am going to  use two words this radio girl has never used here before,  they may surprise you/shock you/amuse you (tick whichever apply)  are you ready? PERIODS and TAMPONS .
Yes you read correctly.  Pick yourselves up from the floor  please! 

Women already know what a bloody pain periods can be. Men may think that tampons make handy faux white mice or even cool ear plugs for when their significant other is harping on about the  cramps, bloating, sore boobs  or the fact that in many countries tampons  are  even taxed. (hmphhh since when is  a tampon a luxury?!) Yes periods are a pain in more ways than one,  and even embarrassing for us girls, personally I cringe when some tv advert comes on telling me how I can jump from a plane, climb Everest or abseil from a tall building during my period as long as I use some famous brand tampon or pad.. or the one that says ''Have a happy period!'' Happy?? Pffft!! Get real, all I want to do in that time is jump into warm bath/shower and climb into bed with a wheatbag . 

Now however, imagine you were trying to cope with them whilst homeless.  (Remember that a moment ago I asked 'since when were tampons a luxury...' well to a homeless woman they certainly are!)

Whilst we ladies complain about the cost of  periods, in Australia  alone  around 46,000  women are without a bed and  are thus sleeping rough,   they are without access to  warm bath or shower and a comforting wheatbag or hot water bottle, they are without access to the very sanitary products that you and I take for granted no matter how grudgingly we buy them. 

  So then there is an idea... what if  for every box of tampons or pads we  bought, another box would be donated to one of these women?  Great idea right?

Well Saskia not only thought it was a great idea but she jumped into action - she is  attempting to make that idea into a reality with her Kickstarter campaign, "Gift Box".

''So rather than buying your next box from a big corporation, choose Gift Box instead and help a sister out.'' 

"Having access to feminine hygiene seems like such an easy piece of that puzzle to solve and a way to take away that stress -- amongst all of the other stresses -- that come with being homeless

' '' Gift Box is about creating a sustainable support program, so for every tampon and pad purchased, we will donate one to a less fortunate woman in Australia, and eventually worldwide.
The concept of 'GIFT BOX' is a tongue-in-cheek take on literally just that: a gift for your box. We have sourced the highest quality 100% organic cotton tampons from a certified organic manufacturer in Europe - so we haven't compromised on quality. They will be shipped to and packed in Australia using recycled kraft paper boxes, ensuring all aspects of the product are ethical and fair-trade. '' (from )

By the end of June, Saskia needs to have  raised AU$45,000 to get the first shipment of her organic tampon line off the ground, (The fact that they are organic is also wonderful! ) Well the end of June is not that far away and at the current time of writing they are  at  AU$13,497  with 10 days to go to make it to the magical 45k.  It has to reach that goal or else it cannot happen, we can't let such an inspirational and worthy project fail so I'm asking you for a call to action, pledge, share, tweet, post!! Help Saskia make this a reality.

'' We still have over $30K to make of our $45K goal. This is the minimum it will cost to get the initiative off the ground. After that, it funds itself. '' 

So come on folk,  let's help make this happen. It doesn't matter where in the world you are. It doesn't matter what your gender is. It just matters that you have a heart and empathy.   Look at your female friends, your sisters, daughters, mothers, granny - how would you feel if they were in the  terrible situation  of being homeless, struggling to keep and feel clean.  Please support this. Have a heart and take part. It can be your good deed/mitzvah, for the day.

For more information here come those  all important links (click on them to get there)


 Follow Saskia via     

My lovely friend Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy) getting in on it too. Good on ya Fletch!

I'm supporting...will you?

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

THE UNDERTONES play CHESTER – Live Rooms on Friday 17th June 2016!

2016 is the 40th Anniversary of The Undertones and they are delighted to announce that they will be celebrating this anniversary with national and international live shows and some exciting releases.

The Undertones emerged from Derry in 1976, the result of five friends learning how to play basic rock and roll. Even by the standards of that decade Derry was not the rock and roll capital of anywhere. With no live bands worth watching, they learned by listening to mail order records, reading one of the few copies of NME that made it to Derry but most of all from listening to John Peel’s wonderful show on BBC Radio One. Practicing in their bedrooms eventually led to the band recording  Teenage Kicks E.P.  in 1978 on Terri Hooley's Good Vibrations label in Belfast.

The legendary DJ John Peel received a copy and like it so much he played it twice in a row on his radio show.
The Undertones signed with Sire Records and ‘Teenage Kicks’ was released followed by  further punk pop gems such as `Here Comes The Summer`, Jimmy Jimmy`, `My Perfect Cousin`, `You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It)’ and four LPs.

Tickets for the CHESTER – Live Rooms show are available from the following:

Friday 17th June 2016
CHESTER – Live Rooms
Box Office No: 0871 220 0260
Website -
Doors: 7.00pm
Tickets - £20.00 (advance)

For more information on THE UNDERTONES, check out the following website / social media links:
Website -
Facebook –
The Udertones BBC 4 Documentary - You Tube Link -