Society Diary interviews... Rachel Grocott

05 Jan 2024 Interviews

Rachel Grocott, CEO of Bloody Good Period, brings in the new year by sharing her weirdest style choice and dream dinner party guests...

Rachel Grocott is chief executive officer of Bloody Good Period

Image: Anya Goldenberg

Dearest reader, you'll be happy to know that a new year means a new interview conducted by this most esteemed (and modest) columnist, who is willing to ask charity CEOs hard-hitting questions; like, what is your go-to karaoke song, and the weirdest food you have ever eaten?

This week's guest is the chief executive of Bloody Good Period, Rachel Grocott. The charity has a big, red, glittery tampon in its office, which Grocott tells Diary she would like to take on a tour around UK workplaces. 

Read our exchange below to find out why. 

How are you?

“Cycle day six, energy levels rising – which is handy given it’s basically dark for most of the day (at the time of writing). 

“On a serious note, the world would work bloody better if women and people who menstruate had cycle knowledge, and if the world was set up to acknowledge that periods are a reality that need to be appropriately managed and supported, not ignored and dismissed.”

When is the worst time to get your period?

“Any time you don’t have what you need – which is far too bloody often as period products aren’t freely available.

“Even if you can afford them – which increasing numbers cannot as the cost of living crisis rages on – you might not be able to access a product when you need one, because they’re not available in public places.”

What is your go-to karaoke song?

“I leave that to my eight-year-old daughter and have to listen to a lot of Katy Perry and George Ezra songs as a result.” 

What is the worst style choice you’ve ever made?

“I’m all for expression of style in a way that’s full of individual freedom and choice… But by any standards my ‘Rachel from Friends’ haircut in the 90s was not a good moment.”

What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

“As a child, on a Christmas visit to relatives in Yorkshire, I was given mince pies and cheese to eat. Together. At the same time.

“My relatives thought it was hilarious that I ate them separately rather than together. I’m sure it’s wonderful… But not for me.” 

Have you ever had any pets?

“Many. I still miss my retired greyhound, Guinness, who died six years ago – I genuinely think we were soul mates.”

Which book, TV show or film do you recommend the most?

“Two books: the Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate, for a new perspective on so many of the approaches to health that we've been conditioned to take and urgently need to re-think. Womb by Leah Hazard, for enraging lessons that we weren’t taught – but should have been. 

“And a TV programme for a decompressing alternative that's also a bit like a gentle hug: Ghosts on BBC iPlayer.”

Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?

“Can I please have four, and invite all the Strictly judges?”

Go on then. What is your proudest sporting achievement?

“I've been running community Zumba classes for over a decade. I'm so proud that we've danced in village halls for all that time, through lockdown via Zoom, and now back together in person again. It's so much more than an exercise class - it's community and joy, and don't we all need that.”

If you could take the big, red, glittery tampon from the Bloody Good Period office anywhere, where would you take it?

“I would take it on a tour of the country's workplaces, to start more conversations and get businesses thinking how they can better support women and people who have periods whilst at work.

“Over the last five years at Bloody Good Period, I've seen over and over again just how powerful conversations are – every time we talk openly about periods, using shame-free, inclusive language, it helps to chip away at that generations-strong shame and stigma that's built up around this most normal of bodily functions.

“And we also know that a giant glittery tampon – or as we call it, a glampon – is simply a bloody great way to start those conversations.” 

Please do volunteer if you would like to be next ([email protected]). If not, Diary will pick its next target at random, and no one is safe...

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the free Civil Society daily news bulletin here.