12 February 2020

Press release - Strictly's Alex Scott and others design Galentine's Day cards for British Red Cross

Press release
For immediate release

For further information Penny Sims

Pictures available (of the Galentine’s cards, plus of Alex Scott, Felicity Hayward and others) via link: https://storieshub.redcross.org.uk/?c=4660&k=959490b36f

Contact information psims@redcross.org.uk
+44 0207 877 7044 / +44 077103 91703 (out of hours)  

Celebs back alternative to Valentine’s Day, as Strictly star and former England footballer Alex Scott, model Felicity Hayward and Miss England Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee design Galentine’s Day charity e-cards for British Red Cross

  •  Around one third of women are in favour of a day to mark important female friendships
  • One in five women have sent Valentine’s cards to mark a non-romantic relationship; one in ten have sent a card to a female friend
  • To mark Galentine’s Day on 13 February, the alternative to Valentine’s Day, Strictly star and former England footballer Alex Scott, model Felicity Hayward and Miss England Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee join celebs designing charity e-cards for the British Red Cross. The e-cards go on sale from 10 Feb at giftshop.redcross.org.uk/galentines and support women in Bangladesh. 
  • Strictly star and former England footballer Alex Scott, model Felicity Hayward and Miss England Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee are among a host of celebrities who have designed Galentine’s Day cards for the British Red Cross. The cards celebrate female friendship and will raise funds for It starts with her – supporting women’s projects in Bangladesh with all donations doubled by the UK government until 31 March.

Galentine’s, which falls the day before Valentine’s Day on February 13, is a day to mark female friendships and celebrate inspiring friends in women’s lives. Research by the British Red Cross shows 32% of women are in favour of a day to let friends know how important they are, and one in ten women have sent Valentine’s cards to female friends. 

The Galentine’s cards form part of the British Red Cross It starts with her campaign, launched in the charity’s 150th year. The campaign aims to show how women in the UK can change the lives of women in one of the most disaster-prone places on the planet.

Women from and the Red Cross project in Bangladesh will also contribute artwork for the range of Galentine’s cards. The e-cards are rel="noopener noreferrer" available from 10 Feb at giftshop.redcross.org.uk/galentines with funds going to the Red Cross It starts with her appeal. 
The full list of celebrities who have designed Red Cross Galentine’s Day cards is:

  • Star of Strictly Come Dancing and former England footballer Alex Scott 
  • Singer Arlo Parks
  • Miss England and junior doctor Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee
  • Boxer and World Muay Thai kickboxing champion Ruqsana Begum 
  • Model Felicity Hayward
  • TV presenter Mehreen Baig


Money raised by the charity e-cards will help fund a British Red Cross project working with women in disaster-prone communities in Barishal, Bangladesh. The programme helps women in slum areas establish small businesses to support their families and community. It also sets up ‘Women’s Squads’ to tackle issues from floods and cyclones to domestic violence. Women helped by the project have also contributed artwork for the Red Cross Galentine’s cards. 

Alex Scott, star of Strictly Come Dancing and former England footballer said:
“All of us have important female friendships in our lives. Women can do incredible things when we support each other. By celebrating Galentine’s Day and sending an e-card, it’s a chance to let your friends know how important they are to you, support the Red Cross, and help women who are transforming communities in Bangladesh.”

Zoe Abrams, Executive Director of Communications and Advocacy, British Red Cross said: 
“The Women’s Squads in Bangladesh are about women and girls coming together to support one another. Already we have seen them joining forces on issues affecting their community such as the threat of monsoon floods as well as domestic violence and child marriage. This project means no woman is left tackling her problems alone, now that she has the support of her squad. This is the perfect match for Galentine’s, a day for celebrating the strong, brilliant women we all have in our lives.” 

The research, carried out by Opinium on behalf of British Red Cross, also showed that two-fifths of people are using e-cards or considering making the switch to online cards. The main reason given was concern for the environment. 

Abrams continued:
“Choosing an e-card can reduce the carbon footprint of sending greetings cards, and the donations received will go to help women dealing with extreme weather events that are being exacerbated by climate change.” 

Two women helped by the Red Cross project in Bangladesh have been lifelong friends. They now train members of their Women’s Squad in karate. Rumi, 18, explains how her friendship with Salma – and the Women’s Squads – helps her: 
  
“We’ve known each other since we were babies. We support each other in a place which has so many challenges for us. Women face economic problems in Barishal and the men have always dominated in our community. But things are changing now. The Women’s Squads are helping with this. One way we are doing this is by learning self-defence. Women in our squad are taking karate classes for one hour every day.  It’s so fun and we are learning a new skill to protect ourselves. I’d like to compete in the Olympics one day.” 

The British Red Cross project aims to help 2,500 people living in slum areas across Barishal, and area where people are under threat of monsoons and flooding. Women here also face poverty, homelessness and violence. It starts with her will fund training on disaster reduction, and cash grants to help women set up small businesses.

The full range of Galentine’s Day cards will be available from rel="noopener noreferrer" 10 February via the British Red Cross online shop, giftshop.redcross.org.uk/galentines. The charity are also encouraging people to hold their own ‘Galentine’s Night In’ to raise funds for the appeal.

Through UK Aid Match, every pound donated for a British Red Cross Galentine’s e-card, up to the value of £2m, will be doubled by the UK government.


- ENDS -
Notes to editors
Research was conducted online from 14th – 28th January 2020 by Opinium, among a nationally representative sample of 6003 UK adults, including 3071 women.

Images of all the e-card artwork, rel="noopener noreferrer" plus photos of Alex Scott and Felicity Hayward available for download here: https://storieshub.redcross.org.uk/?c=4660&k=959490b36f

Direct rel="noopener noreferrer" link to the shop page for the Galentine’s cards: https://giftshop.redcross.org.uk/collections/galentines   

Full list of contributors as follows:
 
Star of Strictly Come Dancing and former England footballer Alex Scott 
Singer Arlo Parks
Miss England and junior doctor Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee
Boxer and World Muay Thai kickboxing champion Ruqsana Begum 
Model Felicity Hayward
TV Presenter Mehreen Baig

Women’s Squad members in Barishal
Members of the Hatkhala Women’s Squad in Barishal, Bangladesh

Cost of a Galentine’s e-card
British Red Cross Galentine’s e-cards are available for a suggested donation. 
• £2.30 could pay for a courtyard session for women to learn about topics like SGBV and menstrual health
• £5 could pay for a counselling session for a woman in Barishal
• £10 could help pay for a business mentor to develop a woman’s business skills
For over 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them recover and move on with their lives. www.redcross.org.uk